Rockets News

Senior Rockets

Senior Rockets will be meeting at Tollymore Mountain Centre this Saturday 11th November at 12.30 pm.

Children must be accompanied by parent/ Guardian and the session will last approx 1 1/2 hours

Please ensure your bike is in good working order. Carry a spare tube in the event of a puncture or else take your bike for a walk!!! .

Wear suitable clothing for the weather and bring a drink and a snack

This is a get fit, keep fit, fun session.


Event Registration

Any rocket wishing to enter events this year  can do so on the following link: Registration

Another great turn out today by the Shimna rockets at the McConveys XC event in Lady Dixon park. Sky Spence was first off in the u6 girls followed by Conor Clarke and Jonathan Warnock in the u8 boy. Noah Stafford and Caolan Clarke fought hard in a very challenging course, well done boys .

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Rockets glow in Castlewellan!

Great day today in Castlewellan with the Rockets. Weather was awesome which gave everyone a real lift. With a couple of different groups heading for the trails the trees were glowing with the yellow high viz rockets bibs. Full kudos to all the kids who have continued to improve and the level of confidence they bring to the session is very apparent. Top marks to the coaches who continue to develop the programme and make it the success it is.

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Saturday 20th February 2016 – Pre-registration….

Pre-registration will take place on Saturday 20th February at 12 noon – 1.30pm. It is being held at the Avoca Hotel, Main Street, Newcastle. We will take your details and also a fee of £10 which covers the first session, Cycling Ireland Insurance and your child’s Shimna Wheelers club membership for the year. Our maximum intake is 40 children this year and anyone who does not pre-register will go on the waiting list. We hope you can continue to join us and look forward to seeing you all there.

Saturday 12th December 2015 – Christmas Party and Presentation….

Rocket of the Year 2015 - Leah Cromie with Irish Champion Gareth McKee.

Rocket of the Year 2015 – Leah Cromie with Irish Champion Gareth McKee.

What a day for the Rockets today. Leaving the bikes at home we headed for the fantastic facilities at Tollymore Mountain Centre to celebrate our achievements in 2015. The day commenced with Marcus doing a quiz session, testing knowledge on bicycle parts. This set the scene for a fun and party filled afternoon with tasty treats for those getting the answers correct. It’s amazing what a sugary enticement can do for attention and participation!

With loads of party food provided by the club and tray donations by parents no-one went hungry. Special guest, Gareth McKee, Irish XC Champion, presented the Rockets with awards for their achievements throughout the year with additional awards for those who represented the club at the Ulster CX League. The final and most prestigious annual award, ‘Rocket of the Year’ went to Leah Cromie for her overall commitment and support to both coaches and other Rockets over the year.

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better another special guest arrived with a little pressie for all – Shimna Claus. Everyone received a selection box and a custom club water bottle. A fun day for all and a very important way to end 2015. We never could have anticipated the support and demand for the Youth Development Programme. We look forward to 2016 and thank everyone who has helped throughout the year. A special mention must also go to additional 11 members who recently completed the Cycling Ireland  Sprocket Rocket Coaching Course. This leaves us in a very strong position to continue to grow and develop in 2016.  Check out our gallery for all our images, thanks to Caolan Hawkins Photography.




Irish XC Champion Gareth McKee pictured with coaches and helpers who keep the Rockets turning the pedals. Not to forget our other special guest star Shimna Claus.

Irish XC Champion Gareth McKee pictured with coaches and helpers who keep the Rockets turning the pedals. Not to forget our other special guest star Shimna Claus.

Sprocket Rocket Course update… Saturday 28 November…

Hi all,

I just wanted to get in touch regarding the Sprocket Rocket course on Saturday 28th November. The venue is Newcastle Primary School, 17A Shimna Road, Newcastle, Co.Down, BT33 OAS. Below is a rough timetable for the day. Each person should bring with them 1. Pen and Notebook , 2. Packed lunch and refreshments for the day  and 3. Bike & Helmet.

There are practical aspects of the course, in which candidates will be expected to coach and cycle. Therefore, they are asked to dress in suitable clothes, bring waterproofs,  bike and a helmet. Additionally, as the practical activities will be conducted both on and off the bike, participants should ensure they have appropriate footwear for both scenarios.

All candidates attending a Cycling Ireland Coaching Course will be required to undergo a criminal records check as part of their certification. Candidates resident in the South of Ireland are required to submit a Garda Vetting Form ( one attached ) and those resident in the North of Ireland are required to submit an Access NI form along with Access NI ID Validation Form.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me

Regards Lawrence



Registration – Fill in Forms



Introduction and Ice-Breaker



What is Sprocket Rocket






Risk Assessment and Warm-Up



Bike and Clothing Check



Breakdown Skills and Present



Role of the Coach & divide into groups






Skills and Delivery



Putting it all together

Lawrence Salonen, Programmes Officer, Cycling Ireland, 619 North Circular Road, Dublin 1. Ph: 353 86 771 0712

20th November 2015…

Maia McVeigh and Grace McVeigh - Spinning and winning cousins at the Craigavon CX event.Hard work at the Shimna Rockets training has paid off for Mia and Grace McVeigh who both stepped onto the podium in 1st and 2nd place respectively in the U8 girls race. Great work girls! Jonathon Warnock is continuing to improve each week and finished in 6th place in the U8 boys race. Noah Stafford finished in 11th place in the tough U10 boys race. Last to represent the club in the kids races was Leah Cromie who finished in 9th place in the U12 girls race.

This Saturday 21st November we will be back in Castlewellan ready to spin at 12.00 sharp.

14th November 2015…

There is a change of location for 14th November 2015. We will be in Castlewellan Park meeting in the main carpark at 11.55am. This is due to a large event taking place in Tolymore. Don’t forget your coat, gloves and warm clothing in these winter month sessions.

This Saturday 17th October…

This Saturday we will have a change of scenery. We will be starting out from the lower car park in Tollymore Forrest Park at 12 noon sharp. It is vital that we are all there and ready to go from 12 sharp. It is unfair to expect other rockets to wait. There will always be a leader there to take registration from 11.50am so there are no excuses. Last week we introduced our orange bibs for our coaches and ni access leaders. This proved a great success and makes a great visible point of contact for our rockets and parents if in need of assistance. The rockets will continue to wear yellow high viz vests which should be received at registration and returned following session. We also now have a number of parents interested in undertaking the Sprocket Rocket Coaching Award and plan to arrange a date for this training in the near future. Up the Rockets!

3rd October 2015…

3rd October 2015 - Castlewellan. Shimna Rockets continue with great success thanks to the kids, parents and helpers. Two sessions today with some Skills from group 1 and trails for group 2. Well done on the two up group riding everyone. See you next week.

3rd October 2015 – Castlewellan. Shimna Rockets continue with great success thanks to the kids, parents and helpers. Two sessions today with some skills training from group 1 and trails for group 2. Well done on the two up group riding everyone. See you next week.

Important Information….

Please take a moment to read our information leaflet just released. Here

Saturday 3rd October 2015…

DSCN5202This Saturday we will be back in Castlewellan Park. Starting at 12.00PM Sharp. Weather forecast is looking good. It is important all Rockets arrive prepared for weather conditions and dress accordingly. We would ask Rockets to bring water with them as it is important to remain hydrated during the  session. Ideally if your bike is fitted with a bottle holder, a bottle can be carried with you at all times. All parents are required to ensure their child is registered on arrival and receive a high-viz vest and that the vest is returned and registered as collected after. We can not be responsible for children once the session has ended. This week we will be dividing into two groups with some fun skills development sessions and a group hitting the trails. As always the session will be fun for all! Parents helping out at sessions are required to comply with our safeguarding policy and complete an NIAccess check. This can be done on-line at If you require assistance please contact Rodger Neill, our Safeguarding Officer at / 07999856707 or at any of our sessions. We expect our new kit order to arrive in the next week or so and look forward to seeing you all in club colours.

Some of our Rockets will be participating in the cyclocross series this winter. The first event takes place this Sunday in Lurgan Park and all Rockets are eligible to participate. Speak to one of the coaches this Saturday or for further details check out CX Details.

Saturday 26th September 2015…

This week we will be back in Castlewellan Park again. Could we ask that all children that have not fully registered and paid fees do so on Saturday from 11.45am. Following our warm up session we will work in three groups and introduce some new skills and fun into the equation. With the Cyclocross season starting next week we would like to see as many Rockets and parents making every effort to attend some of the Sunday events which are taking place each Sunday up to and including 20th December 2015. We are promoting these events for fun and the emphasis is not on winning at this stage, but rather, enjoyment, experience, skills development and long-term participation. See below for the key dates and a link to the official site. Please ask any coach for more information. The club attends these events regularly and there is a large social aspect to them. With the clubs new gazebo we have a great meeting place and tea/coffee facilities. So bring, your bike, kids, parents, friends and a few sandwiches and join us.

Shimna Rockets … Number one it’s for fun!

151109_SR_0006UlsterXCCraigavon2015-051151109_SR_0041UlsterXCCraigavon2015-055   This weekend’s session consisted of 30 young riders ranging from 5 to 13 years;  all eager to participate and have fun on the bike. After a warm up session, three groups were formed. The more experienced riders headed for some more technical training and an introduction to the local cyclocross training route. This was in preparation for the CX race events starting in October. Sean and Marcus introduced some new skills and more challenging routes for the Rockets. The second group started out on the grass track course set up in front of the castle. The course included a few switchbacks, hills and a nice sprint finish. After a couple of taster laps and a few friendly races the group headed for the trails, used in the recent Ulster XC race event, followed by a lap of the lake. The junior group used the skills area to refresh some ‘Sprocket Rocket’ techniques. The mount/dismount, cadence, slaloms, slow speed control and gearing. Afterwards, they moved onto the grass track where the competitive spirit was set loose. All in all a great session and one for all club members to be proud of. With the growing interest in the Rockets it has become more important for parents to take some responsibility. On Saturday, fifteen parents got involved in the session and helped make it a great success! Much appreciated and long may it last. Remember! Shimna Rockets all agree NUMBER ONE IT’S FOR FUN! (20th September 2015)

Shimna Rockets continue to grow!

UlsterXCCraigavon2015-050First day today for the Rockets Saturday sessions. Amazing start with 35 adults and kids out enjoying club cycling. This is the way every club should be. Participation and fun with like minded people, the true meaning of a club. Three groups undertaking skills development, some trails, and a little competitive spirit. Fourteen more sessions running every Saturday at noon until 20th December and already we are getting more interest and some new faces. Long may it last… the future of the club depends on it. Massive thanks to all helpers, coaches and parents who continue to show amazing enthusiasm and support and most of all get stuck in and help out. (12th September 2015)