NCCH and Shelley Gautier Foundation launch para, visually impaired component at Ancaster facility

Community Jan 15, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Debra Downey, Senior Editor

Thanks to the National Cycling Centre Hamilton and the Shelley Gautier Foundation, the wheels are turning for a whole new generation of para-athletes.

The Gautier foundation, launched by the Canadian world champion para-cycler last year, and the NCCH have teamed to  start a para and visually impaired component to its development centre in Ancaster.

“In para-sports, there is not really a feeder system,” said Doug Liberty, the foundation’s executive director for the Hamilton region. “If you are active and want to stay active, there are things available, but with cycling there is not really any club, so basically we want to create a recreational/development program with NCCH for para-athletes.”

A Try It Day is planned for Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jerseyville Road centre. Those who are visually impaired or disabled can use the hand bikes and other equipment and meet the centre’s coaches and staff.

The NCCH, created as a legacy organization after the 2003 UCI World Road Cycling Championships in Hamilton, is one of five nationally recognized cycling centres in Canada that identify, recruit, test, coach, train and develop high-performance athletes.

NCCH manager Rick Lee said since its creation in 2005, the centre has helped more than 35 athletes win medals at national championships and/or become members of the Canadian National Cycling Team.

“We already have a reputation in developing young athletes. This is a natural fit. We have the infrastructure and all the tools, we just have to do a lot of outreaching now to give an opportunity to people who wouldn’t otherwise get it.”

Lee added that with the camaraderie and support cyclists provide one another, he expects all the athletes involved with NCCH will benefit from the interaction with para and visually impaired cyclists.

One of the first to sign up for the para program will be the Gautier foundation’s Hamilton executive director.

Doug Liberty has been confined to a wheelchair for two years due to issues with his spine. Like many people in wheelchairs, his rehabilitation involved hand-cycling.

“I was doing it at the Y and thought, ‘Why can’t I do this outside?’” he said. “This gives me the opportunity to get back into something I can do physically and will give me a chance to do things with my wife and kids.”

A competitive cyclist in his youth, Liberty said he’s not sure if he will one day challenge para-cycler Gautier on the road.

“I have all the competitive bones in my body, but I’m just starting off, so I don’t know where I can go with it or where it will take me. The first thing is to purchase a hand-bike and then try some recreational races.”

For more information on the Try It Day, email sgf1@cogeco.ca.

 

 

 

NCCH and Shelley Gautier Foundation launch para, visually impaired component at Ancaster facility

Community Jan 15, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Debra Downey, Senior Editor

Thanks to the National Cycling Centre Hamilton and the Shelley Gautier Foundation, the wheels are turning for a whole new generation of para-athletes.

The Gautier foundation, launched by the Canadian world champion para-cycler last year, and the NCCH have teamed to  start a para and visually impaired component to its development centre in Ancaster.

“In para-sports, there is not really a feeder system,” said Doug Liberty, the foundation’s executive director for the Hamilton region. “If you are active and want to stay active, there are things available, but with cycling there is not really any club, so basically we want to create a recreational/development program with NCCH for para-athletes.”

A Try It Day is planned for Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jerseyville Road centre. Those who are visually impaired or disabled can use the hand bikes and other equipment and meet the centre’s coaches and staff.

The NCCH, created as a legacy organization after the 2003 UCI World Road Cycling Championships in Hamilton, is one of five nationally recognized cycling centres in Canada that identify, recruit, test, coach, train and develop high-performance athletes.

NCCH manager Rick Lee said since its creation in 2005, the centre has helped more than 35 athletes win medals at national championships and/or become members of the Canadian National Cycling Team.

“We already have a reputation in developing young athletes. This is a natural fit. We have the infrastructure and all the tools, we just have to do a lot of outreaching now to give an opportunity to people who wouldn’t otherwise get it.”

Lee added that with the camaraderie and support cyclists provide one another, he expects all the athletes involved with NCCH will benefit from the interaction with para and visually impaired cyclists.

One of the first to sign up for the para program will be the Gautier foundation’s Hamilton executive director.

Doug Liberty has been confined to a wheelchair for two years due to issues with his spine. Like many people in wheelchairs, his rehabilitation involved hand-cycling.

“I was doing it at the Y and thought, ‘Why can’t I do this outside?’” he said. “This gives me the opportunity to get back into something I can do physically and will give me a chance to do things with my wife and kids.”

A competitive cyclist in his youth, Liberty said he’s not sure if he will one day challenge para-cycler Gautier on the road.

“I have all the competitive bones in my body, but I’m just starting off, so I don’t know where I can go with it or where it will take me. The first thing is to purchase a hand-bike and then try some recreational races.”

For more information on the Try It Day, email sgf1@cogeco.ca.

 

 

 

NCCH and Shelley Gautier Foundation launch para, visually impaired component at Ancaster facility

Community Jan 15, 2015 Hamilton Mountain News

By Debra Downey, Senior Editor

Thanks to the National Cycling Centre Hamilton and the Shelley Gautier Foundation, the wheels are turning for a whole new generation of para-athletes.

The Gautier foundation, launched by the Canadian world champion para-cycler last year, and the NCCH have teamed to  start a para and visually impaired component to its development centre in Ancaster.

“In para-sports, there is not really a feeder system,” said Doug Liberty, the foundation’s executive director for the Hamilton region. “If you are active and want to stay active, there are things available, but with cycling there is not really any club, so basically we want to create a recreational/development program with NCCH for para-athletes.”

A Try It Day is planned for Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jerseyville Road centre. Those who are visually impaired or disabled can use the hand bikes and other equipment and meet the centre’s coaches and staff.

The NCCH, created as a legacy organization after the 2003 UCI World Road Cycling Championships in Hamilton, is one of five nationally recognized cycling centres in Canada that identify, recruit, test, coach, train and develop high-performance athletes.

NCCH manager Rick Lee said since its creation in 2005, the centre has helped more than 35 athletes win medals at national championships and/or become members of the Canadian National Cycling Team.

“We already have a reputation in developing young athletes. This is a natural fit. We have the infrastructure and all the tools, we just have to do a lot of outreaching now to give an opportunity to people who wouldn’t otherwise get it.”

Lee added that with the camaraderie and support cyclists provide one another, he expects all the athletes involved with NCCH will benefit from the interaction with para and visually impaired cyclists.

One of the first to sign up for the para program will be the Gautier foundation’s Hamilton executive director.

Doug Liberty has been confined to a wheelchair for two years due to issues with his spine. Like many people in wheelchairs, his rehabilitation involved hand-cycling.

“I was doing it at the Y and thought, ‘Why can’t I do this outside?’” he said. “This gives me the opportunity to get back into something I can do physically and will give me a chance to do things with my wife and kids.”

A competitive cyclist in his youth, Liberty said he’s not sure if he will one day challenge para-cycler Gautier on the road.

“I have all the competitive bones in my body, but I’m just starting off, so I don’t know where I can go with it or where it will take me. The first thing is to purchase a hand-bike and then try some recreational races.”

For more information on the Try It Day, email sgf1@cogeco.ca.