This week, a Blue Peter presenter visited a cycling club in Blackpool, where he surprised young riders taking part in a coaching session.
Above: Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood starting a race at Blackpool Youth Cycling Association.
Barney Harwood, the children’s TV presenter, went to Blackpool Youth Cycling Association – part of British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme – to watch the kids in action and help out as a volunteer.
The youth cycling session took place at Palatine Leisure Centre on Tuesday evening, where Barney helped Go-Ride Coaches, Tom Leivers and Dylan Clayton, to deliver a session that aimed to develop skills for turning corners.
Barney said: “I think every single kid in the UK should have a go at cycling. It’s such a brilliant thing to do. It’s about keeping fit, it’s about being active, it’s about enjoying yourself. It’s a sport where everybody gets involved and you feel part of the team, which is a great thing to feel.”
“When you’ve got support from friends and a club that you belong to, it gives you a real purpose, real drive and ambition to do something well. I think it’s a brilliant thing.”
|Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood|
At the end of the session, the young riders took part in a friendly race, with Barney waving the flag to welcome the winner over the finish line and presenting the medals.
Barney added: “When you’ve got support from friends and a club that you belong to, it gives you a real purpose, real drive and ambition to do something well. I think it’s a brilliant thing.”
British Cycling Go-Ride Coach for the North West, Tom Leivers, said: “The children had a fantastic time, they were all so excited to have such a special volunteer helping out at the session. Barney has thrown himself into his cycling challenge and he is a great role model for the kids.”
It’s all part of a wider Blue Peter challenge for the presenter, whose producers have set him the task of cycling alongside a leg of the Tour of Britain.
Over the past twelve weeks, the team at British Cycling have been working hard to train up Barney for the challenge this Monday 15 September, when he will ride stage two from Carlisle to Kendal.
The elite riders will be following the tour’s 120 mile route, while Barney travels a direct route of 55 miles.
In addition to support from a British Cycling coach, Barney has been paired up with six young riders from British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme. The cyclists have been training alongside Barney and will ride with him on the day of the challenge as Team Blue Peter.
Go-Ride sessions at Blackpool Youth Cycling Association take place on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 9pm. For more information, please visit http://www.go-ride-byca.org/.
The Blue Peter cycling challenge will air on CBBC on 3 October, 10 October, 17 October and 24 October. Tune in at 5.30pm to find out if Team Blue Peter make it to the finish line.
British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme is a network of cycling clubs, which provide a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport. For more information, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride.