The ever present pink and blue trains of Sportscity became a swarm of bees at the UK School Games....
...you think I am joking - Well, read on!
Dressed in yellow and black skinsuits (that's where the bees come in!), the 7 riders representing the NW at the UK School Games put on a pretty good show. The atmosphere was buzzing and medals were aplenty.
DAY 1 - saw the girls and boys sprint, scratch and pursuits. Jess C was riding the sprint, narrowly missing out on the bronze medal, Mel and Jess A rode both the scratch and the points, with Mel taking silver in the scratch and again Jess narrowly missing out on bronze. Both riding attacking races in the points. Matt took the silver in the sprint after setting a new PB, with James,also setting a new PB, putting in big efforts, which were to prove very useful on day 2! The real highlight of the day, which left us all very hoarse, was the attacking rides of both Luke and Jack in the points race, with Luke taking a well deserved silver. Again they rode well in the scratch.
DAY 2 dawned and we were now seeing one of the warmest days of the holiday as we ventured back to the velodrome. Kieran, individual pursuit, 500 and madison were the order of the day. Both Matt and james qualified for the final of the kieran, James securing our 4th medal of the day with a bronze. Both Jess's rode the girls kieran, with medal number 5, a bronze going to Jess C. The girls 500 saw Jess C secure a silver and Mel a bronze, and James took silver in the boys with an absolutley blistering 2 laps. That was medal 8. But it didn't stop there! Jess A and Mel took silver in the 80 lap madison. Luke and Matt in the madison, Jack and James, Mel (4th) and Jess A in the individual pursuit all rode well.
DAY 3 and a group of very hoarse parents and grandparents arrived at the velodrome. With 5 points separating regions in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place today was going to be a tense but exciting day. Team sprint was the first event , with the girls (Mel and Jess C) securing yet another silver (medal 9), and then an absolutely blistering boys team sprint with Matt, Jack and James tearing West Midlands apart to secure the first gold of the games. Moving onto the team pursuit - both the girls and boys qualified for the ride off for bronze against the West Mids - this was to be the deciding event of the games - we were in 3rd place but beating the West Mids would put Wales in top spot, so with the whole of the Welsh support cheering our riders on bronze medals were secured. What a great way to end the games with all 7 riders on the podium for the final event. A tally of 12 medals - not bad for a weekends racing!
But it wasn't all about the racing - they experienced a unique event, were well looked after and learnt a great deal. WELL DONE TO YOU ALL.
Jamie Staff put Melissa's back wheel on and she couldnt take it off afterwards because she didnt have the strength to undo it!
Its the first time Matts dad, Jeremy was lost for words (well he had plenty just couldn't speak after shouting for Luke the beast Boulton on his points epic..... Nicola and Paul Anderson were struck down by the same throat disease....
The riders got to keep all the kit which includes an England tracksuit!
I was kindly donated some shower gel!
The riders got to meet Denise Lewis and got some great words from Jamie Staff MBE
The riders were up at 6am each day. We ,however, on Sunday were up at 4.30am to make the trip to Newport after we heard how well the team we were doing we decided we shouldnt miss it so a car load of supporters made the 3 hr journey south for the 9am start.