The successful applicants to the 2018/19 SMS Academy have been announced and have already attended Knockhill Racing Circuit today, for the first session of the Academy programme.
The SMS Academy was set up in 2017 to support young riders and drivers (aged 14-20) who are showing potential to excel in the sport. Having successfully supported 23 young drivers and riders in the 2017/18 programme, applications launched in August for a new fresh squad to come in and benefit from the Academy’s support. Since launching the application, we have received a huge amount of interest in the programme. This has made the job of the selection panel – which included representatives from Scottish Motor Sports, the Scottish Auto Cycle Union (SACU) and the Motor Sports Association (MSA) – extremely difficult but after some deliberation, the following competitors have been selected:
The SMS Academy members will each be allocated a coach to offer remote support and advice when needed across the year. Between now and August 2019, the members will take part in four development workshops, which will support them in all aspects of their development, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to maximise their performance.
The first SMS Academy workshop took place today – Wednesday 17th October – at Knockhill, where the Academy members are getting an introduction to the programme, creating their own development plan for the upcoming year and learning about sponsorship, amongst other subjects. The programme will again be delivered by fully qualified MSA Level 2 coaches; Blair Brown and Malcolm McNab will be continuing as Academy coaches but they will also be joined by SACU Enduro competitor, Kevin Murray, who – having went through his level 2 coaching qualification last year, will be tasked with leading some of the more technical discussions with the riders on the programme.
New for the 2018/19 programme will be a specific session for the parents in January; parents of the Academy athletes will be invited to attend a special Introduction to Coaching session that will be aimed at developing their own understanding of talent development and coaching to help them best support their son/daughters development. This is being introduced following feedback from last year’s programme, where parents expressed that they would like to have more involvement in their son/daughters development on the SMS Academy.
There will also be additional support for the SACU riders on the programme this year with sponsorship from Ride Scotland. This new sponsorship will support the riders through additional coaching at events / training days, to help facilitate the riders to put what they have learned in the SMS Academy sessions, into practice.
Amongst the bike racers selected for the Academy this year are Adon Davie (Prestonpans, SACU, Road Race), Angus Bruce (Kelso, SACU, Enduros), Calum Pert (Edzell, SACU, Road Race), Declan Connell (Dunfermline, SACU, Road Race), Jack Hart (Renfrew, SACU, Road Race), Lewis Nicol (Cupar, SACU, Road Race), Robbie Wood (Melrose, SACU, Quad), Ross Maguire (Wishaw, SACU, Road Race), and Sophie Simpson (Stewarton, SACU, Trials).
Follow the SMS Social media channels to hear about the upcoming SMS Academy sessions and to keep up to date with the new squad’s progress.