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Genevieve Sheridan

Discipline: Track, Volunteer,
Gender: Female
Date of Birth:
Born: Dublin
Lives: Wicklow
Team: Scott Orwell Wheelers CC

Genevieve Sheridan

Genevieve Sheridan is currently the chairperson of the track commission and is also heavily involved in her club Orwell Wheelers CC in Dublin. Cycling Ireland got in touch with her to talk about her involvement in Irish cycling.

Genevieve Sheridan describes herself as “somebody who needs to be busy”, and when she explains the extent of her involvement within Irish cycling you know she’s not lying. It doesn’t take long to realise that Sheridan is a highly motivated individual who is always looking to learn “the only things I don’t know how to do are the things I haven’t tried yet, which might sound a little bit funny but I’m quite driven to find out how to do things”

Cycling is very much a family affair for Sheridan, she initially fell into the sport when her eldest son Fionn was given a bike as a present by her brother “we started going along to races and we said we weren’t going to get serious, but we just got sucked in. My daughter Naoise wanted to race then and one thing lead to another, we just kept going and kept going and then I got pulled into organising”.

Although having dabbled in track, Sheridan by her own admission was “not really that much into actually riding a bike” herself, but she soon became immersed in the organisational side of the sport. Her first experience of this came through her local club Orwell Wheelers, where she has been helping out for the last six years with her brother “I work with the kids there and I coach the kids there, and then I help with Women’s stuff at Orwells. I’m on a league committee there as well”.

Following on from her work with her club, Sheridan decided to run for the track commission having developed a soft spot for track, once again after being exposed to it through her kids. Last year, she put herself forward for the position of chairperson and was elected. This brought about a whole new challenge for Sheridan “I’ve never done anything like this before. I don’t have any background in anything like this”.



Since then Sheridan says she has “been working away trying to build on what the others have done before me.” Her work on this commission includes running national events, making sure training happens, and starting new national events, although Sheridan rarely has time to reflect on her work “I don’t really think about it, I just do the stuff”.

Sheridan still occasionally finds her role intimidating “there are days where I still find it daunting” she admits, but she embraces the more difficult aspects of her work “I really enjoy the challenge. I enjoy facing things head on and finding a way to do things, and maybe improve some of the things that are already there”.

One of the main challenges the chair of the track commission currently faces is trying to bring in the Madison, which is now an Olympic event, and this process has not been easy “it’s not ideal with our track and then of course because we don’t do it, we don’t know how to coach it. I was able to get Fintan Ryan, Felix English and Mark Kiely to come and coach it for me, and they’ve been teaching our coaches how to coach it and we managed to run a male and female event this year. I would count that as one the things I’m really pleased happened this year.”

Throughout her brief time on the commission she has already learned some valuable lessons which she would impart to anyone following in her footsteps “think before you speak, always think before you speak. Get advice off everyone, get help and don’t be afraid to ask for help and delegate”. Indeed, Sheridan is certainly grateful of the people she has around her on the commission “they are a fantastic group of people to work with and they have really supported me and it has made a huge difference, now it’s still been a huge learning curve but it’s made a big difference having the support”.

Sheridan has also managed to find inspiration from many people within Irish cycling but especially from junior women's development coach Orla Hendron “Orla Hendron is one of my big big influences, because she manages to do absolutely everything and then a little bit more. She coaches, she rides very competitively, she looks after women, she trains kids, she runs training camps, and she wants to progress the sport for everybody, but especially for women and children”.

When talking about ambitions for the future Sheridan is hopeful “I’d love to see just us getting an indoor velodrome and rising to the challenge of having coaches and having mechanisms in place to deal with that when the time comes around”. She knows this will require a huge team effort “the track commission couldn’t do (the work required) without everybody that’s on it”, but Genevieve Sheridan has never been one for shying away from a challenge.




  

Written by Graham Gillespie

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