Golden opportunity to give sport a go in Sheffield

Double gold medal winner Jason Kenny arrives at Graves Park cycle speedway track
Double gold medal winner Jason Kenny arrives at Graves Park cycle speedway track
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JUST give it a go!

That was the message sporting stars helped to send out when children were given the chance to try out a cycling track in Sheffield.

Cyclist Jason Kenny - who won two gold medals at the 2012 Olympics - joined former champion swimmer Sharron Davies, runner David Moorcroft and broadcaster John Inverdale at the Graves Park cycle speedway track for a special event held as part of the national campaign, Join In UK.

Held over the weekend, the campaign saw thousands of clubs and community groups opening their doors to celebrate local sport, with the aim of continuing the spirit of the London games. The stars dropped in on a Join In UK bus which toured the country.

The track - at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre - hosts weekly meetings run by the Sheffield Cycle Speedway Club, and member Robert Mace said he hoped the event would encourage more young people to sign up.

He said: “We’re proud of what we do, there’s lots going on in Sheffield for people to do.

“It was amazing seeing Jason in the flesh. They’re not these stars on TV that you’ll never get near - they will actually come and support people.”

Hundreds of children donned helmets and took to their bikes, riding around the speedway track as well as the centre’s outdoor velodrome on Saturday.

Medallist Jason, who won gold in the team sprint and individual sprint - said Join In UK was ‘about getting as many people involved as possible’.

He said: “It’s great fun, it’s something I did when I was younger, it’s just a case of going and getting stuck in.”

Meanwhile, Sharron Davies, a silver medallist in the 400m individual medley at the 1980 OIympics in Moscow, praised Sheffield’s sporting facilities.

She said: “Sheffield is a big sporting city.

“I remember coming here for the World Student Games. Over the last 10 years Sheffield has been able to take advantage of those.”

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