Millfield student Jen Sykes has been selected by British Cycling for the regional development squad in sprint cycling.
Seventeen-year-old Jen joined Millfield on a scholarship in Year 9 and now in Upper Sixth studying for three A levels in Business Studies, Media Studies and Physical Education. As well as cycling, Jen plays hockey and netball for Millfield.
Last year, Jen made the transition from athletics after discovering the transferrable skills linked with cycling. After joining Millfield’s cycling team, Jen began track cycling training with the Millfield Triathlon team and obtained a full track accreditation, which led to her work with British Cycling. She receives specialist gym sessions with Millfield coaches on turbo trainers and rollers and has personal strength and conditioning sessions twice a week. The Millfield Sixth Former will now continue on the British Cycling talent pathway to develop her skills and race tactics for sprint cycling.
Millfield has had a number of female athletes successfully transition into cycling: 2017 leaver and GB Cyclist Milly Tanner was offered a six-month confirmation programme with British Cycling through the #DiscoverYourGold programme as a swimmer at Millfield and has recently competed at her first Track World Cup in Glasgow. 2018 leaver and GB cyclist Lauren Dolan won a bronze at the 2019 World Road Racing Championships in October 2019.
Millfield has also recently appointed its first full-time Triathlon and Cycling Coach, Christian Brown. Christian joins Millfield from the Leeds Triathlon Centre, where he worked with some of the best coaches in the world.
Jen Sykes, Millfield student said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been selected on the British Cycling pathway. I would love to pursue my track cycling career whilst at university, and this has led me to choose institutions near to the UK velodromes so that I can maintain my training and progress in the sport to the next level. I hope to study international media and communications, and balancing my sport and academics at Millfield has helped me to realise that it is possible to pursue high-level sport alongside my studies.”
Millfield Director of Sport, Dr Scott Drawer says, “Jen’s selection is just another example of the way Millfield is able to provide a flexible development pathway across a diverse range of sports to help individuals find their passion and talent. The school has always been able to provide a dual development pathway for anyone across their academics with music, art, dance, or sport. Talent in one sport or subject can transfer to another, and Jen has shown that with the right desire and guidance it is possible to pursue other sporting journeys while also gaining three A levels. I hope she enjoys the process of the British Cycling talent pathway and her journey inspires other young female athletes to explore other avenues of sport whilst at school.”