British Cycling hope to foster 'new Olympians' at a new kilometre-long traffic-free cycle track at a school in Sheffield, where children can learn bike skills and take their first steps in competitive cycling.
Forge Valley Community School's track, which will be accessible to the wider community, was opened by John Mills, Coaching, Education and Development Director at British Cycling and the chairman of UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust Baroness Sue Campbell.
John said: “Having a purpose built facility on school grounds is a magnificent achievement and invaluable asset for not only the pupils, but also the surrounding local communities who are sure to benefit from the circuit, which is the only current facility of its kind in Sheffield.
“Plans are already in place which will see the facility used regularly by clubs from Sheffield and from as far away as Leeds, which proves just how important the circuit can become for cycling’s development throughout Yorkshire.
“The timing couldn’t be more appropriate either, as this is clearly a unique summer of sport and we are working hard to help clubs, coaches and young volunteers prepare for the expected increase in interest in cycling and having facilities available such is this is paramount to our ambitions.
“We are continuing to work with Sport England to utilise the performances of our athletes in order to help inspire the next generation, and nowhere is that more apparent than at facilities such as this.”
The new school, which cost £28 million to build, opened its doors to pupils late last year. Building Schools for the Future funding paid for the school.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.