Manchester National Cycling Centre
A most enjoyable day was spent by students from the academy in Year 7 and 8 at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester last week.
The day was a Physical Education Gifted and Talented day in which students were rewarded for their efforts in attending a new venue which provided a new and ‘alternative sport’ experience. The experience would hopefully extend their knowledge, understanding and practical performance of a most popular Olympic event.
With the rise of cycling at the London Olympics/ Para Olympic Games and the huge success in our athletes such as Sir Chris Hoy; Victoria Pendleton; Mark Cavendish ;Laura Trott ; Bradley Wiggins; Lizzie Armisted; Sarah Storey accompanied by BMX success through Liam Phillips and Shenaze Reade; the experience would hopefully motivate our students to aspire to their heights!
The day was an early start meeting at the academy at 6.30 a.m and then a congested journey which we managed to brave to arrive just after nine at our venue.
Students were immediately sacrificed to the velodrome and to their cycles (with no brakes!). Helmets on and briefed in how to deal with starting and stopping techniques and how to ride the track, they were all let loose! Some took to the track immediately and it was not long before they were blasting their way around the circuit. Only two casualties in terms of falling during the morning but with no serious injury- a result in itself!
On a day when Manchester City were playing Barcelona and we were only a throw from the ground, we took advantage of a break in our programme to experience the Etihad and the new Academy just recently developed.
Lunch was followed by the afternoon session which was two hours on the BMX track.
What an arena! All padded up and helmets and bikes allocated the ‘gladiators’ entered the arena to brave and front what was in front of them. Up and away, high and low, the meandering and daunting mounds presented themselves –formidable hurdles ready for a fight! It was certainly not for the feint-hearted.
Some students showed no fear, however, it was interesting to witness how the track played on the minds of some who had to be persuaded and coaxed to their fate!
Students progressed generally very quickly and it was great to see many of them fly around and manage the tracks in terms of mounds and jumps and negotiate all before them – it was also most evident that they were thoroughly enjoying themselves and their new experience!
The students were exemplary on the day and thanks to Andy Kay for his support and to Kirsty Spencer for her approval of the visit.
A great day and experience –hopefully to be repeated!
Thanks to all the students involved :-
AMELIA HARLAND ; KIRSTEN YOUNG; MAJA BAJEK; LEWIS BIBBY; CHARLIE SHOOTER; SAM MCCAULEY; ISSAC GREEN; LUKE RILEY; ALIX BUTLER; KAITLYN JASPER;
OLIVIA LANGLEY ; LEWIS WILSON