Teen with a need for speed
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
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.