Posted: 3rd July
Image: Deborah Stone
British Cycling joined Baroness Sue Campbell CBE to open a new purpose built closed road circuit as parents, pupils, teachers and dignitaries alike gathered in Sheffield for the official unveiling of the brand new £28 million Forge Valley Community School.
Baroness Sue Campbell CBE and British Cycling's John Mills officially open the circuit
Measuring at a kilometre in length, the track is the result of many years hard work and provides pupils with a superb facility to improve safety and skills awareness on bikes, as well as take their first steps on to the competitive ladder through entry-level racing.
John Mills, Coaching, Education and Development Director at British Cycling, attended the opening activities alongside the chair of UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust Baroness Sue Campbell, invited guests from Uganda - where the Kibuli Sec School is twinned with Forge Valley – and Great Britain hockey player Charlotte Hartley.
As a feature of the day, invited guests were able to witness youngsters at the school try out the cycle track for the first time, as ‘learning showcases’ highlighted the breadth of opportunities available at the new school, which benefitted from Building Schools for the Future funding.
Being able to open the track and see its immediate impact with young people was key for John Mills, who believes Forge Valley has a superb facility which can benefit the school and wider community for many years to come.
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.”
Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, chairman of UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust, opened the modern site, which welcomed students from last September, by cutting the red ribbon in front of hundreds of parents, pupils and staff.
“It is a great pleasure to be here and all I can say is ‘Wow’!” she told the Sheffield Star.
“This is not like any school I have ever been to. It is fantastic. I’m sure one of the things you notice when you come in here is how light and airy and business-like it is.”
She later added: “This is not just a school for young people, it is a school for the community.”