North-East Cycling Academy (NECA), funded by The PFC TRUST.
The PFC TRUST is pleased to have supported NECA and Adam’s project to get more people riding bikes and taking up cycling as a hobby or sport.
Organisers of the first Hartlepool primary schools’ cycling event are confident it is only going to grow after the opening of an excellent purpose-built facility.
The town’s 800m technical cycle track is unique to the North-East and there are very few cycling circuits like this within the UK.
The cleverly created site, near Summerhill, has already been well received by those who have used it – including those children who competed in a recent competition.
Over 90 children raced for the first time after their school took advantage of the six-hours of free coaching sessions put on by North-East Cycling Academy (NECA), funded by local charity the PFC Trust.
Adam Brooks, director of the NECA and a qualified British Cycling coach, said: “It was excellent. We had the young leaders from Dyke House Academy marsh
alling on the day, helping out, and it went smoothly.
“We had 12 teams from across seven schools competing. It was a fantastic day and even the teachers got into it, with the kids cheering each other on.
“It was the first event I have run outside of British Cycling, schools wise, and it surpassed the others. I was told it was the best event many had been to all year sports wise, so to hear that makes it all worthwhile. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Following on from the success, Adam and Sc
hools Games organiser Kate Robinson have already put plans in place to hold a competition for secondary schools next June before the second primary competition the following month.
Those interested in taking part just need to get in touch with Adam at the NECA to enrol on the free taster sessions, and then schools will be invited to take part in the cycling event.
“Many of the schools who weren’t involved this time have already been in touch and I’d expect that number to grow,” said Adam.
“We are planning for next year’s primary schools event to be double in size, with two heats and a final. The feedback we got was brilliant and what’s great is that it is open to all, it creates openings in sport for many children who might not get involved competitively.”
Rossmere Primary won the boys competition, with Clavering and Grange behind. Clavering won the girls, with Rossmere and Grange behind.
Adam said: “It highlighted how cycling can bring a community together and appeal to everyone.”
Hartlepool’s new cycling track means training sessions with school children and cycling clubs like Manilla can take place somewhere other than a car park or on the roads.
It has been seven years in the making and Hartlepool Borough Council have backed Adam’s ideas to turn Summerhill’s overflow car park into an exciting facility.
Adam said: “It has recently opened for public use in the summer. At the moment it is very much booked out for training and teaching. It is great to develop road and circuit racing skills.
“Even though there is a track at Middlesbrough where I also do some work, this one is more technical. It will upskill kids because of the nature of it and they have to concentrate more. They need to learn how to corner correctly because of the undulating nature of the course.
“We are getting kids coming down from the Scottish borders in motorhomes to use it. I want to drive forward and produce professional cycling out of Hartlepool.
"We have plans to develop an inclusive cycling academy to identify talented individuals who we will give the opportunity to progress within the sport, I would love to see future professional cycling stars coming from Hartlepool.
“My next thing is to create a pathway, so if I can get a kid from a Hartlepool school and see them progress to a high level of cycling would be incredible. It is trying to break down barriers in Hartlepool.”