Youth Spokes

Bluewater International Granfondo is introducing a new cycling program in our area for youths called Youth Spokes which is free and open to all between grade 6 and going into grade 9 (ages 11-14).

 

Youth Spokes will create a safe space for youth to develop a positive relationship with cycling. It would be inspiring to see various youth groups participate in the Bluewater International Granfondo and B.I.G. Slow Roll; however, the overarching goal of the program is to provide more opportunities for youth to get active by creating the foundation for a youth cycling community in Sarnia Lambton.

 

The genesis of “Youth Spokes” was a program that B.I.G. ran in 2020 in conjunction with the Lambton Kent District School Board. It was virtual over three weeks with 4000+ students participating. The enjoyment, participation and feedback prompted B.I.G. to develop the Youth Spokes program.

 

This year’s pilot Youth Spokes program will run for 6 Sundays starting June 19th and ending July 24th between the hours of 2 and 4 pm. Youth Spokes will have 5-6 Leaders and a number of assistants to help teach the skills required to explore on two wheels and stay safe while doing so. It will provide an opportunity to develop self confidence and self-reliance to allow youth to experience the freedom granted by a bicycle and the integration of healthy activity into everyday life.

The Youth Spokes curriculum will be structured to serve multiple Sarnia Lambton Public Schools and organizations and will a focus on:

 

  • Teaching the five basic rules of the road for cycling
  •  Bike handling
  • Basic bike maintenance
  • Encouraging good health through ongoing activity
  • Exploring the city and county safely
  • Creating a youth community support system
  • Using a bike to help reduce stress and anxiety
  • Having fun

 

Youth Spokes has procured a fleet of over 20 bikes and helmets for this program. To participate, please sign this waiver

 Youth Spokes Leaders

Pat St. Amand was born and raised in Sarnia, Ontario. He teaches the junior-intermediate grades at Holy Trinity Catholic School. He started cycling as a teen and he feels that this hobby-turned-passion has allowed him to not just get physical fitness, but to meet a variety of people who ride at different levels. Pat stays active by teaching Spin Classes at IronWorks during the winter months. Pat is excited to be part of this new program and eager to combine his passion of cycling and teaching.

Kendel Ross played basketball professionally overseas in Portugal and Spain as well as with various levels of the Canadian Women’s Natonal team program (2002-2014). She competed at the University of Dayton (NCAA D1) where she completed her master’s degree in health sciences. Since returning to Sarnia she has been high performance and wellness coaching as well as teaching at Lambton College. She is a certified nutrition coach and started Growth Mindset Co (www.growthmindsetco.ca) offering customized coaching services. Her most favourite thing is helping people accomplish things they didn’t know they were capable of. In her free time, you can find Kendel on a bike or hiking in the woods.

Former Div 1 and Professional athlete, Julian Service is now a coach & personal trainer with a passion for health and fitness. He picked up road cycling in 2020 for fitness and competition He truly enjoys the fun and experiences of cycling all together which is a great way to strengthen ourselves physically and mentally. Now he dedicates hours in preparing for the Bluewater International Granfondo, focusing on skills and techniques in order to safely and efficiently cycle solo and in a group. The goal is to help as many young kids find their passion for cycling, and learn to better their riding skills & techniques in order to safely have a better experience while improving their physical and mental well being.

A St. Pat’s Alum and Western business Grad – Cormac Brown is a 27 year old who started cycling in 2020. As a former Mr Basketball of Sarnia and university Track and field athlete, Cormac has used cycling as a way to diversify his athletic background and to promote his health & fitness. It’s not only about health and fitness, but the camaraderie involved with cycling is an important piece to why he got into riding in the first place.. there’s a great quote that I try to live by from Muhammad Ali’s biography A Life, – “Don’t count the days, make the days count”.. and with cycling, it makes you see the days from a different perspective.

Jordan Colquhoun is a local entrepreneur in the renovation and construction industry.  He has been an avid cyclist, mountain biker, adventurer and he is always looking to be in the outdoors.  He loves working with youth and giving them opportunities to expand their minds and experiences.