A former British Cycling coach has turned his attention to getting the young people of Hartlepool on their bikes.
With help from the PFC Trust and Hartlepool Sport, Adam Brooks is ready to go into every primary school in the town to teach them the benefits of hopping on.
Adam, already a successful coach in town with Manilla Cycling, has decided to branch out and set up North East Cycling Academy (NECA).
NECA is looking to nurture, evolve and demonstrate that there is a pathway to take cycling further as a sport – and he has local examples to prove it.
Adam said: “I work with individuals and some of my juniors are at a top level. I have largely achieved this outside of the town, but Hartlepool is my hometown and I want to see cycling have an impact here.
“I believe cycling appeals to different children because they can cycle in groups, it doesn’t have to be just an individual, and I want to show that to everyone.”
NECA wants to get to the stage where it is introducing and developing talent on purpose-built tracks in Hartlepool, like the Velodrome in Middlesbrough where he currently coaches.
Plans are awaiting approval for an 800m track to be built at Summerhill, Hartlepool, with Adam hoping that will come to fruition before the end of the year.
Through the funding from the PFC Trust, NECA has purchased 16 bikes, a box trailer, helmets and other equipment to ensure that all children across the area benefit.
Hartlepool Sport, an extension of the PFC Trust, is also helping the primary school programme get off the ground.
It has agreed to cover the cost of six-hours of free coaching for up to 30 schools in and around Hartlepool, with NECA hoping that will develop from there.
Adam, with over 20 years of coaching experience in both cycling and football, has coached with Manilla Cycling and Hartlepool United’s Centre of Excellence as well as boasting five years at British Cycling.
He said: “Hartlepool Sport and the PFC Trust have wanted me to do something down here to get more children and people active.
“I have pushed for a facility in Hartlepool to help this and one of the reasons I was successful in obtaining funding is so that I can go into all the schools and help the sport of cycling grow.
“Many people don’t see cycling as a sport, where you can compete at different disciplines, they often see it purely as a mode of transport. There are lots of opportunities and kids don’t recognise that.
“We have the equipment and the time set aside to help the primaries. I have now sent the school programme information to the primary schools in town and now we just want those to take up the offer and go from there.”
The primary school sessions will be delivered to children aged 7-11 (Years 3-6). Any children attending these sessions and wish to take cycling further can attend sessions with Manilla Cycling on a Saturday morning at Hartlepool College of Further Education.
Any schools who wish to book in additional sessions can contact Adam directly too.
Carl Jorgeson, CEO of Hartlepool Sport & PFC Trust Trustee, said: “We all have such an important part to play in helping our young people to lead physically active lives, by providing opportunities and removing barriers to participation as we find them.
“Cycling is such an accessible sport to engage in, and with the support of a coach with Adam’s coaching background and experience, it has pathways through to elite level for those who wish to take it further.
“This project forms part of our wider Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity (PESSPA) offering to local schools and we are looking forward to announcing more projects soon.”
| For further information check out the NECA and the PFC Trust websites.
“I work with individuals and some of my juniors are at a top level. I have largely achieved this outside of the town, but Hartlepool is my hometown and I want to see cycling have an impact here.”
-Adam Brooks, North East Cycling Academy