Local children got the chance to try out competitive cycling with a former national Cyclo Cross champion and professional cycling coach last week at the third annual interschools cycling event at University Academy Keighley.
The event on 23 May, organised by our Bradford schools officer with the University Academy Keighley (UAK), involved children from seven Keighley Primary schools from The Keighley Schools Partnership, and was supported by British Cycling coach and former National Cyclo Cross Champion Chris Young. It is part of a programme to tackle obesity and inactivity with schools in the Bradford area.
Each school had six children (three boys and three girls) taking part in an individual Time Trial, a sprint, relay, handicapped and endurance races. Last year’s winners Parkwood competed against St. Andrews, Victoria, Riddesden St. Mary’s, Eastwood, Our Lady of Victories and Holycroft.
Chris Young and local cycle club Bronte Tykes ran cycle coaching and training in between events.
All races took place on UAK’s Olympic standard athletics running track. UAK hosted the event and 10 UAK Year 10 students acted as ‘event makers’ marshalling the event and supporting the individual primary schools.
Many of the children riding in the event will move on to UAK when they leave their primary schools so the event was also an opportunity to see the facilities of their next potential school.
Oliver Barnes Inclusion Manager St. Andrews Primary School said:
“The Keighley Schools Partnership really appreciates the time and energy that Sustrans, British Cycling and UAK dedicates to our local schools. The interschools cycling event is well organised and our children really look forward to competing in it. Having worked in Keighley schools for over 10 years we are now seeing the benefit of Sustrans' work that inspires our children to ride and live a healthy lifestyle.”
It was a very close team competition with the top three schools exchanging places after each discipline. The final five- lap endurance race proved to be the decider, with overall victory and the trophy going to Riddlesden St Mary, Silver medal to Our Lady of Victories and Bronze to Holycroft.
Ian Cullen Event Organiser and our Active Travel Officer for Bradford and Keighley said:
“From this experience many of the children will now have the enthusiasm to progress on to local cycling clubs and to make cycling a regular part of their active lifestyle”.