Youths

The Club have devised a child protection policy to help safeguard younger riders’ well-being. This is operated in the conjunction with the official Cycling Ireland code of conduct [PDF].

As part of the club’s obligations under the Children’s First Act 2015, here is our Safeguarding Statement (Word doc).

Our first priority is the welfare of the young riders and we are committed to providing an environment which allows participants to perform to the best of their ability in a fun and safe environment that is free from bullying and intimidation. The environment will be one that is safe and has the welfare of the young rider at the forefront.

Non-members can participate in a maximum of 3 spins. After this, they are not covered by Cycling Ireland insurance and must join the club and obtain a Cycling Ireland licence if they wish to continue with us. Our club membership is free for U18s. There is a charge for the CI licence. See our Membership page for more information.

If there any queries about this policy, or complaints regarding violations, the Club Safeguarding Officer can be contacted via the form on our Contact Us page. The phone number is also available on request.

McNally Swords CC runs a youth program which aims to bring children with a basic level of fitness and cycling competency to a level where they can safely participate in regular longer group club rides, and progress to racing if they wish. This usually starts with short guided rides of approx 25km (about an hour) on a quiet local circuit, progressing to longer and more challenging courses as rider fitness and skills develop.

Enquiries about youth rides should be sent to swords.youths@gmail.com We will ask you some basic questions about your child’s current ability and fitness level. Basic introductory rides are scheduled according to demand. We welcome participation from both boys and girls.

MNSCC does not currently teach basic cycling instruction for children. For basic skills we recommend contacting an approved instructor via the CYCLERIGHT program.

My child is not currently a member of your club – can they ride with you?
Non-members can participate in a maximum of 3 spins. After this, they are not covered by Cycling Ireland insurance and must join the club and obtain a Cycling Ireland licence if they wish to continue with us. Our club membership is free for U18s. There is a charge for the CI licence. See our membership page for more information.

What is the minimum age and fitness level permitted to ride?
Our rides are on open roads (we use quiet routes initially). For this reason, the minimum age for our youth rides is currently 13 years of age, and riders should be physically capable of completing a 25-30km ride (approx 60-75mins).

What do you teach?
The aim is to teach safe group riding etiquette, and develop the rider’s fitness and endurance levels to a point where they can participate in regularly scheduled club rides.

What kind of bike and equipment is needed?
For introductory rides, any good working bicycle is sufficient (brakes and tyres especially should be in good order). MNSCC is primarily a road club, and riders will need “racer” type bikes for rides other than the introductory spins. Helmets are mandatory. All riders should carry a spare tube, pump and water. If the child has a mobile phone, they should also carry it. For longer rides, food and some refreshment money may be required.

Do I need to accompany my child?
For children under 16, a parent or adult guardian must be present at the start/finish point and provide an emergency contact number, but doesn’t need to come along on the ride. The ride leader will advise you of the expected finish time. For 16 and 17 year olds, riders may be unaccompanied but will still need to provide an emergency number.

Who leads your rides?
Club rides are led by senior experienced riders. Where youth riders are participating, they will also be accompanied by members who have completed the Cycling Ireland Garda Vetting process.

Can my child leave an organised ride?
Children under 16 are not permitted to depart unaccompanied from an organised club ride before the finish. Should they be unable to complete a ride for some reason, they will be accompanied back via a shortcut to the designated finish area, and/or their guardian will be contacted to arrange collection. 16 and 17 year olds may leave a group ride after having first informed the ride leader.