Alex Haines is 17 years old and from Woodhouse Eaves in Leicestershire.
I am a national level junior cyclist. My best result in 2017 was winning the National Madison Championships in my last year at youth level. Wearing the National Champion's jersey at races like the Revolution series at the Olympic Velodrome in London and the Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow were the proudest moments in my cycling career to date.
I have now moved up to junior age category. Until now the gears sizes I have been using has been restricted, (to prevent injury and promote good efficient pedalling). Now, as a Junior I am allowed to push a bigger gear in racing and so as an athlete I need to be stronger and more physically robust to deal with the bigger gears. Building my muscles and strengthening my joints to support this load will not only be beneficial to my cycling performance but will also protect me from injuries. There are many young athletes who have become injured from poor lifting technique. I understand that this comes from years of dedication and training with weight training becoming more and more important in endurance track racing. If I can become a strong athlete I will be faster. If I am faster I will be more successful. I have just attended my first Senior National Track Championships at Manchester. I raced shoulder to shoulder against Olympians, World and National Champions
A JHMT Inspire Award small grant will be such a help. I have the skills of a good bike racer – I don't have the strength or the muscle yet – developing strength is the next step. As a cyclist I have been recently reminded of how very real SADS is. In 2017, Charlie Craig (a contemporary cyclist) passed away in his sleep. I was training with other British Cycling Apprentice riders when we heard the news of Charlie's passing and it is something that I will never forget. I would be honoured to represent Joe's Trust (JHMT) as I know how important it is for young athletes as well to be aware of the symptoms of SADS and that having CPR skills and knowing how to use a defibrillator can be the difference betwwen life and death should someone suffer a cardiac emergency.
I am doing A-level P.E and I am really interested in how I respond to training. I am looking forward to keeping you updated with how my S&C training is progressing through the year.
Simon Taylor, Inspire Lead, said: ' We are delighted to make this award to enable Alex the physical demands of his sport and encourage him to act as an ambassador for himself and the trust for other young
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