DREAM racers on their dream machine ... it’s what dreams are made of.
That was certainly the case for four intrepid teenagers from Broomhall whose bobsleigh dreams became reality in the most unlikely setting - the grounds of an ancestral home in North Yorkshire.
The youngsters, Ahmed Warsame, Ez Hussein, Rana Aszad and Awale Abdi, all pupils at Silverdale School, came, saw and finally conquered the legendary ‘dry slope’ bobsleigh push track at Camp Hill outdoor pursuits centre near Bedale.
It was here that Sheffield’s own Nicola Minichiello honed her skills that would lead to her being crowned World Champion last year and fittingly she was there to put the lads through their paces. Nicola showed them how to master the bob, or to be more precise how to run with it and get in it without doing themselves any damage!
At least she allowed them the comfort of a mattress to cushion themselves inside the bob.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report, including interviews with Nicola, the Silverdale students and South Yorkshire’s own World Cup final referee Howard Webb...who also tried out the bobsleigh dry push-start track.
Nicola said: “When I found out what Rob (Extended Events co-ordinator Rob Creasey) was trying to do I wanted to be involved and help the guys.
“I love the sport and the more people who try it, the better. I really enjoy helping people experience the thrills and excitement of bobsleigh, that and winning medals, is what it’s all about for me.”
Not surprisingly, the lads felt it was one of the best moments of their lives so far.
Ahmed said: “It was everything I hoped it would be and more ... the adrenalin rush, the excitement, everything was there. It was a great experience.”
Rana added: “We saw the film Cool Runnings in Primary School and thought it would be fantastic to give bobsleigh a go. It’s taken some time but we’ve finally got there. We really can’t believe its happened and we’re really grateful.
“It’s a dream come true and we’d all love the opportunity to carry on with the sport.”
There was also another very familiar sporting figure lending his support to the boys, Rotherham’s World Cup Final referee Howard Webb.
“I visited Silverdale School a few weeks ago and spoke to the children. While I was there I became aware that Rob was trying to get some lads involved in bobsleigh and so I’ve come up here to give them my support.
“Sport is an amazing vehicle to give kids opportunities and get them involved in as many different sports as possible. It’s got to be a positive and help enhance their lives.”
There was even time for Howard to have a go, which resulted in Nicola giving him the red card.
It wasn’t that bad, Howard!
The adventure doesn’t end here as, today, the boys travelled to Konigsee on the Germany-Austria border, for Part Two.
Here they will have the trip of a lifetime in a ‘taxi bob’ down the World Championship track where they will reach speeds of around 80mph and pull around 4Gs.
They will then stay on to watch British Olympian Dan Money, who along with Webb has helped with fund-raising activities, and Barnsley’s Fiona Harrison compete in their respective events at the World Bobsleigh Championships.