EDIE Haley is making history.
The gun Echuca cyclist (pictured) has signed with a new team based out of Melbourne.
The team, which is women only, is a development team for under 19 and under 23 cyclists.
Called Foundation Technology Academy, it is an opportunity for young racers who have other commitments to pursue their riding.
‘‘It’s about giving girls who are at school or uni the opportunity to race but still study,’’ Haley said.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity because it lets us have our studies as our number one priority, but also be able to pursue our careers in cycling.’’
Haley jumped at the opportunity to take part in the team and to be a part of history too.
‘‘There really aren’t many teams like this where it is an under 19 and under 23 team that is just targeted for women,’’ she said.
‘‘A lot of the boys get chances with these kind of teams, it’s not easy for them obviously because they have to work incredibly hard in order to get into them, but the opportunities are definitely there for them more so than for the girls.
‘‘With only being a few opportunities for girls out there — there are only two or three teams like this for under 19s and for women — it’s an incredible opportunity and it’s something that I’m really proud to be asked to join.’’
The team also opens up a number of new opportunities for Haley.
One of those chances is to be a part of two major road racing series.
‘‘So luckily with this team, they sign us into the Victorian Road Series, as well as into the National Road Series.
‘‘Normally you have to be an elite level racer to be able to get involved in that series, so I’m incredibly lucky that this team gets me the opportunity to be involved in an incredible event like this.
‘‘It also opens us up to the opportunity to possibly get guest rides with some of the bigger teams in the National Road Series, the bigger Victorian and Queensland teams that are around. They’ve been very well known for getting people out of these programs as part of the event.’’
It’s been a busy 12 months for Haley.
As part of her studies in Bendigo, Haley was heavily involved as a volunteer at Netball Australia, working closely with the Melbourne Vixens during the Super Netball season, as well as being a part of the International Fast Five netball series.
With all this going on around her, she still had time to make it back to Echuca as an organiser of the Echuca Moama Cycling Club’s track carnival.
Her volunteer work earned her a nomination for the Echuca-Moama Sportstar Spirit of Sport award.
While Haley has loved her time in the netballing world, her goal is firmly still on the bike.
‘‘My dad was a cyclist,’’ she said.
‘‘My goal is still to race the national over in Ireland like he did. So, I want to keep working on my riding and hopefully one day I get to race that.’