Just as London 2012 was born out of the ambitious dreams in the early part of the last decade and the foundations laid in 2005. Sheffield CSC’s Olympic experiences were instigated years earlier in 2010, 2011 and the spring of 2012.
Part 1 – Sheffield CSC goes to London 2012
The streets of London are paved with gold and Sheffield CSC was lucky enough to go en mass to the capital to enjoy the Olympic Games. It wasn’t the luck of the ticket lottery that earned the tickets, but the hard work of young volunteers for the last couple of years. The British Olympic Association allocated tickets to all the young volunteers and their guardians who had progressed through British Cycling’s Cycling Award for Young Volunteers programme. The lucky recipients of the tickets had attended the course and been regular volunteers since 2010, with a new cohort attending the course in 2011 and 2012.
These young volunteers have helped coach, officiate and run the club. Then as a reward for just getting involved, some were rewarded with tickets to the Women’s Mountain Biking event while others got to attend the Basketball in the Olympic park during the first week. The Olympics aimed to inspire a generation and this is a clear example of that succeeding with the next generation of volunteers getting to be part of the once in a lifetime experience at Loon 2012.
Part 2 – London 2012 comes to Sheffield
London 2012 came to Sheffield when the three time Olympic champion Jason Kenny, swimming Olympic champion Sharon Davies, Jon Inverdale of the BBC and GB distance runner David Moorcroft came to visit the club at it’s Go-Ride Games event. The seeds to bringing London 2012 to Sheffield were sown in the Spring Go-Ride Conferences of 2012.
James Unwin, a maturing young volunteer represented the club and signed it up to deliver an event to attract anyone inspired by London 2012 to come and try cycling. He stuck the clubs hand in the air and although the following events were a lucky coincidence it rewarded James and the club for getting involved.
The club committed to delivering the event by registering it with the Go-Ride team of British Cycling. The Go-Ride team then passed those event details on to similar initiatives being promoted by the BBC and a scheme called Join In. Join in were promoting the events by taking Jason Kenny et al around the country on a battle bus with local and national media. They so happened to be passing through Sheffield at 11am on Saturday 18 August, just when Sheffield CSC were delivering their Go-Ride Games event.
The result was magnificent. Over 60 people came to participate in the Go-Ride Games and twice that came to watch and see Jason Kenny and other special guests display their medals and deliver special Team GB goodies. Local newspapers, BBC Radio Sheffield, local community radio and SKY Sports News were on hand to promote the club, the sport and the event to the community and encourage them to try cycling with Sheffield CSC.
Join In and Jason Kenny brought a little bit of London 2012 to Sheffield and he helped to inspire a generation because more and more young people tried cycle speedway with many joining on the day and many others promising to come back for the next coaching session the following Saturday.