GLEN Forrest resident and Year 11 student Rebecca Blake has been named as the U/19 representative for the Senior Track National Titles to be held in Brisbane in March.
The cyclist just competed in the State Track Championships and won silver in the Under-19 time trial.
Two other young riders also achieved personal bests in the championships – Kirsten Simpson (Year 11) and Bryn Rankin (Year 10).
Blake has only been cycling for two years, but decided to take up the sport after her younger brother became involved.
National Cycling Centre spokeswoman Amanda O’Connor said that Blake was able to adapt a background in ballet and gymnastics to cycling.
“She participated in the Body Bike Fit female cycling program run by National Cycling Centre WA, a 16-week free program provided to girls between 11 and 16 to introduce them to the sport of cycling,” Ms O’Connor said.
“Following this program, Rebecca joined Midland Cycle Club and began racing at the Midvale SpeedDome.
“She had a very successful debut year in the competitive Under-17 category and represented her club at the 2016 Pacific Youth Track Tournament, the only junior international track competition in the world for U-15 and U-17 riders.
“Medalling at this event against strong competition from Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan national teams, she was able to follow up with multiple podiums across both sprint and endurance events at the Under-19 and Elite State Championships in December.”
Blake is now training with the WA Institute of Sport Academy for her first national competition in the U19/Elite ranks at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane from March 2 to 5.
Ms O’Connor said the 2017 Body Bike Fit mentoring group would invite Blake back as a role model for young women in cycling.
“I think it’s important to give back and support more female participation in cycling,” Blake said.
Ms O’Connor said sport provided an ideal way for young women to holistically manage issues like body image, self-esteem, health and fitness and rights and opportunity.