Scottish cyclist Rhona Callander visited Motherwell last week to meet local school children ahead of competing in the OVO Energy Tour Series event on Tuesday.

Callander will race for last year’s champions Team Breeze in round two of the 2019 series when it returns to the town for the fifth year in a row.

She began her career at Stirling Bike Club, trying all cycling disciplines before settling on road and track. Callander took gold at the 2016 Scottish Time Trial Championships and in 2017 became Scotland’s first-ever Commonwealth Youth Games champion in cycling with gold in the road race.

On the back of these and other impressive results, she is now part of the British Cycling’s Senior Academy programme and is aiming to compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 2024 Olympic Games.

Callendar met pupils at Ladywell Primary School, speaking about what inspired her to take up cycling, the motivation needed to success at the highest level and her career highlights.

What they said…

Callander said: “I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to race on home roads in Motherwell and Aberdeen next week. It is not often that we get these opportunities – so it is very memorable when they happen!

“I loved the opportunity of visiting Ladywell Primary School in Motherwell which is based close to the course to talk to the pupils and staff about my journey as a cyclist and answer their questions – it was great to see them so excited about the OVO Energy Tour Series coming to Motherwell!

“Thanks to North Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Cycling for making this happen!”

Des Murray, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Council, added: “Thank you to Rhona Callander for taking time out of her training schedule to visit Motherwell and meet local school pupils.

“For the council, one of our aims in hosting the event is encourage more children to get on their bikes, to consider cycling as a sport or simply to ride to school or for fun with their friends.

“Rhona gave the pupils a unique insight into the sport she loves and what it was like to compete for Scotland in the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017. Her talk certainly inspired a lot of questions from the pupils!”

Stuart Parker, Managing Director of Morgan Sindall Construction in Scotland, which is sponsoring the OVO Energy Tour Series, said: “The OVO Energy Tour Series is a key event for North Lanarkshire’s visitor economy and puts the region on a world stage.

“We have a longstanding collaborative relationship with the council, so becoming a sponsor and facilitating these school engagement days was something we were only too happy to do. Encouraging pupils to pursue sports and active lifestyles is a key agenda we fully support.

“Judging by the enthusiastic reception the pupils gave to Rhona, we may well have inspired a new wave of young Team Scotland cycling stars!”

Callander will be in action in round two of the OVO Energy Tour Series from 17:30 on Tuesday 14 May alongside other top professional male and female cyclists including compatriots Olympic champion Katie Archibald and Commonwealth medallists Neah Evans, John Archibald and Mark Stewart.

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