Former Head of Education at British Cycling, Dr. Vinny Webb, will head up the Manchester Cycling Academy where riders aged between sixteen and eighteen years old can study for a BTEC in Cycling Performance and Development.
Webb, who joined British Cycling in 2013, left the governing body in 2019 to become a consultant with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), a role that he will combine with the Manchester Cycling Academy.
Aimed at aspirational riders, Manchester Cycling Academy will be the only Sixth Form College style course in the North of England and will take a holistic approach to their development, who will study a specially tailored BTEC course, which is the equivalent of 2 ‘A’ levels.
Riders will receive input from leading academics and practitioners, covering Sport Psychology, Nutrition, Physiology, Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning and Coaching from some of the UK’s most prestigious sports Universities.
Subjects the riders will study will include anatomy and physiology and coaching, together with more cycling specific sessions such as tactical demands of cycling and how to analyse and assess their own training sessions.
The course is designed for riders of all disciplines who are riding regularly who wish to progress onto a high performance environment. Academic studies will be provided with a yet to be announced, but well regarded academic institution that has a long history of providing high class education and which is graded ‘Excellent’ by Ofsted.
The first intake will be in September 2021 and recruitment will start immediately, having been postponed from March of this year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Webb will be partnered in the venture by long time colleague and friend, Stefan Hopewell. Hopewell is an experienced Public Relations and Marketing professional.
They both met more than 20 years ago when they were involved with Student Rugby League with Webb being Head Coach of the Academic Lions, the British Student Rugby League representative team, and Hopewell was Press Officer.
“There are lots of talented riders who will jump at the chance to immerse themselves in a full-time cycling environment and we are looking forward to receiving their applications. This week’s launch is the result of over twelve months worth of work and we are absolutely thrilled to be finally ready to launch,” said Webb.
“Riders will receive first class education and coaching which will set them up for a career in elite cycling or associated professions. We will take a holistic approach to their development and the input they will receive from the panel of world class associates will set Manchester Cycling Academy apart as being the best in the nation.
“Riders will fit their cycling training around their academic studies with training usually taking place in the mornings, apart from Wednesdays when the whole day is devoted to training and bespoke cycling sessions.This will mean that they are in a full time cycling environment which will allow them to develop their skills ready for the next step-up,” added Webb.
Fellow Director, Stefan Hopewell says: “Our business model of recruiting a panel of academics to have input into the course is totally different to the established model, where it is common for sports specific academies and colleges to rely on one or two individuals.”
“From day one we have built scalability into the plan and we are very confident that it will not only be successful in terms of attracting numbers of riders but in terms of producing high quality riders set up for life success. We’ve recruited some high quality commercial partners who share our vision and we are looking forward immensely to the journey over the next few years, ” Said Hopewell.
More details of the academic partner, team of world class associates and coaching team will be revealed in the next few weeks as recruitment continues.