Pedal power takes Emma to GB Senior Academy
Coleg Sir Gậr sport and exercise science student, Emma Finucane, proves she can compete with the very best in the world by making the transition from GB Junior to the GB Senior Academy Track Cycling squad.
The former St John Lloyd student who is currently studying a level three sports science qualification at the college, has already relocated to British Cycling National Centre in Manchester to train alongside the very best track cyclists in the world, including four-time Olympic gold medalist Laura Kenny, CBE.
Emma shot to stardom after winning the Women’s Junior 500m Track Time Trial at the European Championships in 2019. Since then she has been a force to be reckoned with on the senior circuit, placing second in the Women’s 500m TT at the National Track Championships in January 2020.
Throughout the pandemic, Emma has maintained her cycling commitment at the Newport Velodrome, training alongside her fellow Welsh Cycling and Coleg Sir Gâr level three sports science peer Amy Cole, on the track three days a week.
Amy, a former Bryngwyn student, has also been moving through the ranks at British Cycling, impressed selectors at the National Track Championships in January 2020 and throughout the pandemic period.
She was already a well-established member of Welsh Cycling Junior Squad formally as a road cyclist but more recently as a track cyclist. Amy has now gained a place in the Welsh Track Cycling Senior Academy, known as ‘Wales Racing Academy’.
During this time it has been essential that Emma and Amy maintain their academic studies, providing them with the necessary qualifications for entry on a degree or future career.
Coleg Sir Gâr sport science programme leader, Rob Kirk, said: “To cater for Emma and Amy’s unique situation we have developed our Elite Performer ‘Fast Track’ Programme that is designed to provide academic provision around their extremely busy training commitments.”
This means the athletes have bespoke lectures on their modular subjects at the top and bottom of their training days during the week and weekend.
Rob Kirk added: “The remote lectures have been conducted through the college Google Workspace and has allowed the Amy and Emma to work at a time that suits them while gaining full tutor support.
“As elite athletes, the girls are naturally focused and conscientious and are on target to complete their course ahead of their usual competitive season in April.”
Emma and Amy are extremely talented on the track and in the classroom, with both striving towards distinction profiles from their level three extended diploma in sport and exercise science.
Their attitudes fully reflect the ethos of our Elite Performer Programme (EPP) “Supporting elite athletes to achieve their full sporting potential whilst ensuring the best chance of academic success”.
Rob Kirk added: “I have been privileged to educate a number of sporting greats during my 22 years of lecturing but supporting Emma and Amy through our fast track programme has been a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the elite world of professional cycling.
“Both both Emma and Amy are truly gifted athletes and I have no doubt that will achieve their dreams within the sport and in turn become track cycling legends.”
Emma is pictured left in her GB kit and Amy is pictured right in her Welsh kit.