Young Filipina Girl Leads 2022 Bikeology Youth Series in Ireland

Issy Huela, 12, leads Under-14 Bikeology Youth Series in Ireland

Ysabella Liane Huele (Issy), 12, from Dublin, recently won her 2nd race in a row out of three starts at the Under 14 category of the 8-Round Bikeology Leinster Youth League held in Mondello Park in Co. Kildare. She came in 2nd on one of the races. What made her latest win on the 20th of July race more impressive is that she won first overall against boys. She is currently leading on points in the U14 age group (13-14 years of age). 

Issy with father June and brother Xander with whom she cycled since she was 9

Issy was born in Ireland to parents June and Mik Huele from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental who have been living in Dublin since 2005. At the age of 8, Issy participated in a number of sports, like Camogie, Taekwondo, and park runs. She started cycling and racing cyclocross at the age of 9 and decided to switch to road races and take cycling seriously at 11. She participated in events together with her younger brother Xander and they joined Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club in October 2020. Currently, as an Under14 cyclist, she competes against other clubs from all over Ireland in road races with a distance of up to 28 Kms. The Phoenix Park, Wicklow mountains, and Blessington Lake are some her training grounds, coupled with home training on the spin bike, treadmill, Zwift races on her smart turbo trainer, plus Sunday Corkagh park track training and Monday night club league.  The non-stop diverse training keep them sharp. 

“I would like to see other Pinoy kids get into cycling and join races because it is an opportunity to be active and enjoy other people’s company,” Issy says. Issy’s first big win was being crowned the Leinster cyclocross champion in her age group in 2019. After joining Orwell Wheelers, Issy switched to road race, time trial, and criterium competitions.

In 2021, which was her first year after switching to road racing, she finished 6th in Robinstown Grand Prix, 1st in Peter Bidwell, and 2nd overall in Bikeology Leinster Youth League U12 age group (11 & 12 years of age) after 8 races, narrowly missing the championship after a big crash on the 2nd to the last race.  But she recovered well and was able to win the 2021 Leinster Under12 Road Race Championship and get bronze in the Leinster Time trial championships. The same year, she competed during the National Youth Race in Gorey and podiumed in three major events. Her medal haul includes Bronze in Time Trial, Bronze in Road Race, and Silver in Criterium. Gold Medal (Team Road Race). Issy also competed at a few cyclocross race in Wicklow and Co. Louth to keep fit over the winter months. 

Issy went to St. Louis Primary and now St. Louis High School in Rathmines

Outside of cycling, Issy is a normal Filipina-Irish girl growing up in Ireland’s capital.  She completed her primary in St Louis Primary Rathmines and is going for her secondary in St Louis High School Rathmines. Apart from cycling, Issy’s drawing and painting skills have also been recognised in Dublin City Council-sponsored art competitions, and Math would be her strongest subject. She is a Filipina by heart as she loves Filipino food, particularly lumpia and her father’s home-cooked adobo and lechon kawali. She admires Filipinos because of their good sense of humour and are very hospitable. 

Issy is currently racing in 2022 Bikeology Leinster Youth League which is held in Mondello and Orwell Monday Night League in Corkagh park and she is leading in both in the Under 14 Girls category. She will be racing in Co. Donegal at the Ulster 3-day International Youth Tour, for Team Leinster this end of July and August at the 2022 Irish National Youth Championships in Armagh representing Leinster & Orwell Wheelers. Her recent wins this year include 1st in Robinstown Grand Prix, 1st Stephen Roche Grand Prix, and 2nd in Gran Fondo, Wicklow. She also came in 3rd in Louth sponsored by Cuchullian CC, 3rd in Sean Nolan GP, 5th at Athy Wheelers Grand Prix and 5th in Moynalty Grand Prix. 

Proud mother Mik says, “Issy is independent, sensible and mature for her age. I am very proud of her and her achievements. She is working hard to improve her performance, reflect on her experiences, and take all the learning to the next race.” 

Issy’s father June, who is a Cycling Ireland-certified coach, has this advice to her daughter and aspiring cyclists: 

“For Issy, you know already how proud we are of you.  May your love continue for the sport and may you and your brother inspire more young Filipino representation in Irish cycling and hopefully someday get called up to represent our three stars and a sun (Philippine flag) or the green shamrock (Irish emblem).  You cannot win them all but what matters is how you react or bounce back from failure that will define you as a rider and as a person in the future.”

“To those parents who have aspiring cyclists: Cycling is easy but racing is brutal and hard. Don not push your children too hard just for the sake of a good result.  Rather, make sure you get your kids to love the sport first. The winning, competitiveness, trophies and medals do not mean a thing if they are not enjoying what they are doing. Then, if you see potential, get them in a club so they will benefit from learning good riding fundamentals and techniques and having a structured environment with the support of professional coaches and experienced team mates,” June concludes. 

Author: Vanda Brady