Meet the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy riders
Dame Sarah Storey and her team selected four new riders to join the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy which supports young, aspiring riders in their mission to make it pro offering a pathway to the elite level
Gwyneth Parry (19) is currently studying for her A Levels at Ludlow College. A promising runner, previously representing North Wales in track, cross country and mountain running events, Gwyneth only took up cycling seriously during the first lockdown when she became injured with stress fractures of her legs and needed to find a new sporting focus that wouldn’t affect her injuries. Gwyneth explains, “When I was injured during the first lockdown, I dusted off my road bike and put my focus into cycling.” We are very excited to have Gwyneth as part of the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy to further develop her cycling potential and look forward to her meeting the team and getting involved.
Olivia French (20) is currently in her second year at Durham University studying mathematics. A promising tennis player, previously competing at national level and in international tournaments, Olivia only took up cycling seriously during the first lockdown when the tennis courts closed, and she needed to find a new sporting focus. Olivia explained, “I would normally be playing tennis tournaments all summer but last year my focus switched to cycling and I loved it”. We are very excited to have Olivia as part of the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy and look forward to her meeting the team and getting involved.
Lucy Ellmore (18) is currently finishing the final year of her A Levels at Rossett School and also has a part time job at the local Police Treatment Centre. Lucy is a passionate cyclist and has been so for many years. She explains “I’ve cycled since I can remember”’ She took up road cycling when she was 13 years old when she joined Otley Cycling Club. We look forward to working with Lucy during her time in the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy and rising to all the exciting opportunities to come.
Maddi Aldam-Gates (18) is currently studying an art foundation course at Trowbridge College before taking up a place at Durham University in October. Maddi is a keen club swimmer, training five days a week and only took up cycling seriously during the first lockdown when the pools closed, and she needed to find a new sporting focus. She was spurred on by her dad’s passion for cycling who encouraged her to get on a bike. We look forward to working with Maddi during her time in the ŠKODA DSI Cycling Academy and rising to all the exciting opportunities to come.
They join three existing members of the academy who have been part of the initiative since 2019 and have had some remarkable experiences and achievements.
Rebecca Richards (23) currently lives in Newark, Nottinghamshire working as a Team Leader for Specialized Concept Store in Nottingham. Rebecca joined the ŠKODA Cycling Academy in 2019; her passion for cycling started in 2012 after British Cycling came to her school and brought bikes for all the student to race around the field on. She very quickly loved how the sport is so dynamic and the many different disciplines to choose from. British Cycling then affiliated her with the local club, Newark Castle CC. Rebecca has taken part is many competitions including: 16th Stage 1 of The ŠKODA V women’s Tour, 17th National Hill Climb Championships, 3rd at the Birmingham criterium, Notts & Derby Cyclocross Junior women’s league winner.
Morgan Newberry (22) has recently finished studying nutrition at Sheffield Hallam University and is currently working in a secondary school, supporting young people with additional needs. Morgan joined the ŠKODA DSI Academy in 2019; she loved joining the Academy and throw herself into some brilliant new experiences that really helped her build new skills and develop confidence on the bike. Morgan is a C5 paracyclist, though competes in both able-bodied and para cycling races. Her top event was the Yorkshire 2019 para cycling international. This was her first international road race where she learnt so much. In June 2021, Morgan took home Gold at the Para National Circuit Race Championships, which is an incredible achievement!
Megan Dickerson (24) is a social media manager at SHIFT Active Media, a marketing agency dedicated to cycling and has been a part of the ŠKODA DSI Academy since its inception in 2019. She first began cycling with the University of Bristol Cycling Club in 2015 as a way of meeting new people and exploring the local area and quickly fell in love with the sport. Time trialling is her main focus, with numerous local wins and course records as well as two national podium places, but she loves a road race too and it is something she would love to do more of in the future.
Find out more about the SKODA DSI Cycling Academy