Meet Mark Ragan From The New Halifax Academy Coaching Team
Excitement is building now for our Halifax Academy launch. If you haven’t heard about it - where have you been?
From September 2021, our unique programme of cycling classes will be on offer at the Brooksbank Cycle Track in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
The sessions will be headed up by none other than Ed Clancy OBE himself, fresh off the plane from Tokyo alongside Mark Ragan, the latest addition to the CB Coaching family.
From Rugby League to Cycling
Mark explains how he became a keen cyclist himself:
“I spent 6 years as a professional Rugby League player with Salford, Huddersfield and Keighley, but was forced to retire early through a shoulder injury, so looked for something else to do. I began doing triathlons and cycling and it just took over my life!”
Mark Ragan (on Left) at a recent race
Recently retired after 34 years of teaching (including 13 years at The Brooksbank School as Director of Sport), Mark is certainly no stranger to the world of cycling, with a CV bursting with sporting credentials.
In 2014, Mark worked tirelessly with British Cycling and Calderdale Council to establish the Brooksbank Cycle Track in time for the Tour de France to pass alongside. Since then, the track has been used by thousands of riders of all ages and skill levels - what a legacy that’s sure to guarantee more kids get on their bikes!
The Brooksbank teachers were the first riders on the new circuit
The same year, Mark became a level 2 British Cycling coach and has spent hundreds of hours since then community coaching all ages and abilities.
And the cycling gene obviously runs in the family!
Mark’s son Jake Ragan has achieved multiple national titles and joined the GB academy where he briefly rode with our very own Ed Clancy OBE.
Jake Ragan at the World Championships
Mark’s daughter, Georgie, has also developed a career in the world of cycling and currently works for British Cycling. It was through Georgie that Mark and Ed started to discuss working together:
“Georgie is regularly in touch with Ed and happened to mention that I’d be retiring soon and available for coaching. From there I met with the CB team and was so excited by their passion to get more kids on bikes, I had to be involved”
What can we expect from the Halifax Academy?
Just like our flagship academy in Doncaster, we will be offering classes for children and young people. Starting at just 18 months for little ones learning how to balance, right through to teenagers looking to develop their race skills.
Mark tells us how he feels about the new academy:
“I am totally passionate about cycling and the benefits it can bring, which anyone who has met me will realise. I really want this academy to succeed and thrive, hence see the circuit used constantly and also see thousands of young people share in the joy of cycling!”