You may remember that I was one of the ‘pink and purple’ people at the Olympics.
Well I had the chance to be a volunteer at the very first event to be held at an Olympic venue since the games closed.
Of course I said yes, and the day turned out to be even better than I expected. Mainly due to the fantastic school group I attached myself to.
So what was happening?
There were two different types of activities going on.
There were secondary pupils competing in the inter-regional mountain bike finals but there were also a number of primary school pupils taking part in other events around the site.
I was attached to one group of primary pupils we took part in a variety of activities. the first activity that day was Blenda Venda where they made a smoothie but powered the blender by riding on a bike.
This was great fun and everybody had a go at powering the blender. Everybody, including me. But there was a bit of a problem. The bike was a kids’ bike suitable for primary pupils and I have ludicrously long legs. It was impossible for me to sit on the saddle and get both feet on the pedals without doing myself a mischief so I had to stand up, something nobody else had been allowed to do!
Next was Build a Bike. The kids were split into 2 teams, each team was given a bike with the wheels, saddle, handlebars, chain etc. taken off and had to put them back together. Very entertaining and did you know that the threads on the pedals go in the opposite direction to normal ‘cos I didn’t, but then we know about me and bikes!
The kids also got to have a go at Orienteering, identifying different trees, throwing ‘javelins’, running with parachutes and other activities.
Once the primary pupils finished the activities that marked the ‘official’ end to their day, but they had the opportunity to stay on, go round the Olympic course and watch the British Cycling Youth inter-regional mountain bike championships. I’m pleased to say that the school I’d attached myself to stayed and so did I!
Walking round the course was amazing. When you get really close to the obstacles you realise just how terrifying they are. Some of them were sheer drops!
Here are just some of the many photos I took:
We then had the opportunity to watch the four best boys and girls from each region of the country being put through their paces. This was fascinating as they had to display high levels of control and skill, obviously mountain biking is not just about raw courage!
Again, more photos:
I have to say it was a fantastic day. The youngsters who were competing in the championships were obviously delighted to be able to take part at a real Olympic venue. The primary pupils enjoyed the activities and were able to start to dream about what they may achieve in the future. And me? I just had fun! It really made me realise how much I miss working with kids though, kids are great!
Oh, and just in case we didn’t realise how lucky we were, this sign says it all!