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  • Comments: 0
  • 06 March 2014 00:00
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Dorset Sportivate project helps identify new GB cycling star

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A Sportivate track cycling project at Wey Valley School in Dorset has helped identify a young girl that is being tipped to become a future star of the sport.

Sportivate is Sport England’s £56 million funded Olympic and Paralympic legacy initiative that aims to help young people not currently taking part in sport to find and then to maintain an interest in sport.

Funding for the Sportivate track cycling project in Dorset came from the Active Dorset County Sports Partnership as they manage the Sportivate programme in the county on behalf of Sport England.

The Active Dorset funding allowed a new group of participants to visit Bournemouth’s outdoor velodrome. 

The group include Rebecca Raybould who had never been track cycling before the project.

But Raybould immediately displayed huge natural talent for the sport and has progressed very quickly as she has now been selected for the Under-16 Great Britain Olympic Development Squad for Track Cycling. 

The 15 year-old Rebecca from Weymouth in Dorset admits that the Sportivate project has changed her life.

"My proudest moment is getting into the talent track team for Great Britain,” she said.

"If it wasn’t for Sportivate I would probably be doing nothing.”

"Sport is a really big part of my life now.

"It’s a really good way of expressing who you are and who you want to be. 

"I hope to be the best that I can be and I would like to become an Olympic Champion."

PE School coordinator Mark Salmon applied for Sportivate funding to be able to extend the offer already made by an existing bike club at the school.

"A lot of our students in this area are struggling to pay to do activities and they wanted something different from the usual team sports,” he said.

"Cycling was great and I was able to offer the sessions for free thanks to the funding.

"A lot of those students would not be riding if it wasn’t for the initial experience from the Sportivate sessions”.

"The Sportivate funding helped us to find out about Jason Falconer who is the coach at the velodrome in Poole and he has been a massive help. 

"He’s really supported Rebecca and the other students to move from recreational cycling into competitive and performance cycling”. 

Students were able to join local bike clubs after the Sportivate sessions, The Wey Valley Wheelers and Mud Sweat and Gears.

Both bike clubs offer track cycling sessions to young people with experience. 

To find out more about the Sportivate programme in Dorset, Click Here

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