They say a picture tells a thousand words and this one tells me a thousand happy words.
There are obvious reasons why I like this photo; running the Nottingham/Derby store in sunny Breaston and co-managing the Race team with Richard Anderson, seeing your boys get the One – Two and you can’t help but raise a smile. The real beauty of this picture, however, goes much much deeper.
Organising local races and events at this grass roots level is done purely for the love of the sport and the joy of being around those involved with it. Tim, Richard, Beeston Road Club and countless others have done a fantastic job of pulling the Notts Uni GP road race together not for one, but for four years now and still held to raise funds for BRC’s development squad. This event helps the seeds of grass roots racing, if you like.
There’s always a huge buzz around races, people finding familiar faces, folks with a common bond in “The Bike” who rub shoulders with each other and show their support for a good cause. Who knows if we might find the next “Wiggins” through supporting this and, knowing that you may have played a part in that, always gives a warm fuzzy feeling. Today all that time given, all the early starts sorting team bikes and kit, all the meetings after hours fell into place and made sense, of what the local cycling community is.
Joe Perkins won the senior race at University of Nottingham GP. The same Joe Perkins who sat on the sidelines some four years ago nursing a broken collarbone only able to watch his Development Squad colleagues race. He desperately wanted to support the race that was designed to raise money to aid him and his teammates develop their racing pedigree. The success of that event and others like it raised money that helped this fine young athlete reach his goals and potential, and his victory today. Joe’s win was down to HIS determination, training and hard work. His work however was supported by that initial support he received four years ago in a project that LeisureLakes felt they had to be involved with. Without our our involvement in the Race Development Race squad he may well not being racing for us now or, god forbid, he might have continued down the ‘Triantelope’ route 😉 Without that support he may not have ridden over the finish line with his arms held high with our logo across his chest. That is the real beauty of this picture, winning the event and thus supporting the very project that helped him start his racing career those four years ago. It was a symbolic full circle and he is now helping that next wave of racing cyclist.
The Uni GP is a great example of why grassroots events are so important, and why we must support them. Today not only did Joe win but, to coin one of Joe’s team mates, today Cycling won.