Hillingdon Circuit Scoops Awards

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Organisations at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit have now won three separate awards in twelve months for their volunteer activities. The latest is the London Borough of Hillingdon Volunteer Team of the Year award to the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit Users Group which runs the circuit on behalf of the borough with a completely volunteer team with no financial subsidy from the borough. This was recognition that the circuit hosts over 200 meetings each year, seven days a week from April to October, catering for all ages from three years to eighty, and all levels from teaching mature ladies to cycle on a utility basis through to national championships and national series events for youths, seniors and masters. Notably, Mark Cavendish won the under-14 national championship at Hillingdon as an early indication of his world champion and Tour de France potential.

The first of the three awards was when the Slipstreamers children's club based at the circuit was presented with the London Health Commission Award by London Mayor Boris Johnson for its contribution to the encouragement of cycling, with the prize bringing the professional production of a video of their activities.

The second was when Brian Wright was voted UK Participation Coach of the Year, a national award covering all sports. Having been a coaching stalwart at the circuit since it was constructed in 1996, Brian was one of the original founders of the Slipstreamers children's club and more recently the founder of the Minet Ladies CC which, if necessary, teaches mature women to ride a bike at utility level through to some of them progressing to taking part in major charity rides. He was also a major contributor to the construction of a second cycling circuit elsewhere in Hillingdon in the grounds of Field End School. Funded by Transport for London to encourage cycling, this has been a great success both on its own and as a 'feeder' circuit to larger and more established one with some pupils moving on to join Slipstreamers.

In fact after the Team Award ceremony this month, the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Mary O'Connor MBE, herself a keen utility cyclist, told User Group officials that another school, having seen the Field End circuit, now wants its own circuit and has sufficient spare land available. So the Mayor, who has ridden from London to Paris for charity, has promised her support to seek funding, especially as this could be especially convenient for those in the communities with disabilities although nothing can be promised.