Teen with a need for speed

Central Leader - - News -

Teen cy­clist Holly White has gone from rid­ing in her back­yard to na­tional glory in less than a year.

The St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege stu­dent was part of the school’s gold-medal-winning time trial team at the Secondary Schools Cycling Na­tion­als in Palmer­ston North last week.

Holly’s suc­cess comes af­ter she was crowned the year 7 cycling cham­pion in the 16km in­di­vid­ual road race at the In­ter­me­di­ate North Is­land Cham­pi­onships last month in Taupo.

She was also part of the St Cuth­bert’s time trial team which took out first place in Taupo.

Proud dad Glen White says he’s amazed at his daugh­ter’s progress con­sid­er­ing the 12-year-old strug­gled to ride long dis­tances dur­ing the Christ­mas hol­i­days.

“She’d be pan­ick­ing about the cars com­ing. I thought she was too young.”

But he says the cycling pro­gramme at St Cuth­bert’s soon brought his daugh­ter up to speed.

“They men­tor them re­ally well. The school re­ally wants the year 7 and 8 girls to get in­volved.”

Holly says tak­ing out the road race at the North Is­land champs was a huge thrill.

“It was pretty ex­cit­ing. It’s the first race that I’ve ever re­ally won.”

The Green­lane res­i­dent was also the first year 7 home at the secondary schools champs, com­ing in sixth over­all af­ter racing against a num­ber of year 8 stu­dents.

While Holly en­joys racing com­pet­i­tively, she says rid­ing for fun is some­thing she can’t get enough of.

“I like see­ing how fast I can go up and down the hills.”

St Cuth­bert’s sports co-or­di­na­tor Paul Mon­ney says a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude and nat­u­ral abil­ity has seen Holly progress quickly.

“It takes real com­mit­ment with early morn­ing train­ings, but she can’t get enough.

“Holly’s al­ways looking at how she can im­prove.”

He says the school has won seven gold medals at cycling cham­pi­onships in re­cent weeks, which en­cour­ages more girls to take it up.

Dur­ing sum­mer Holly hopes to take part in some triathlon events and club cycling races.

By Scott Mor­gan

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

On your bike: Green­lane res­i­dent Holly White has won sev­eral cycling gold medals for St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege at North Is­land and na­tional com­pe­ti­tions in re­cent weeks.

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