Weekend of pure excitement

editorial image

The last bank holiday weekend is one I will never forget, writes Tadcaster Grammar School pupil Jemima Browning.

At 7.30am on Saturday 29 my family and I arrived at the VIP area for the eagerly awaited Tour de Yorkshire.

Because of our work on improving access to sport for people with disabilities, my brother Will and I had been invited to cut the ribbon to officially start the Women’s Race of the Tour de Yorkshire, along with Tillie-Mae Bradford who won a competition to wave the start flag.

There was a real air of anticipation and excitement and the whole of Tadcaster was decorated with the TdY colours; the community had turned out to celebrate and absorb the carnival mood.

We were treated to a delicious breakfast in the VIP area and had a bird’s eye view of all the cyclists entering the stage to be signed in for the race.

We were delighted to meet dignitaries and members of the event team, some of whom were elite cyclist themselves.

The tension and excitement mounted as we were taken to the start line where the competitors lined up to take their places.

Waves of all the different team colours jostled into position; the pre-race resolve and focus was palpable.

The streets were lined by phenomenal crowds of local people cheering, clapping, waving flags and enjoying the incredible atmosphere.

After we had cut the ribbon in front of what seemed like the worlds press photographers and Tillie-Mae had waved the flag, there was a thrilling countdown from the crowd and they were off.

From where Will and I were standing we could feel the air currents the riders created as they cycled past us at high speed.

What an amazing experience and it wasn’t over as we went on to make the most of all the stalls and activities that lined the streets of Tadcaster and follow the race on the big screens.

We enjoyed this without my brother Will, however, as he had to leave quite promptly, which brings me on to the next success of the weekend.

Will travelled to Nottingham to take part in a swim training camp and time trials for the Down Syndrome International Swimming Organisation Team GB.

He had a fantastic weekend meeting lots of fellow swimmers who have Down Syndrome, who were all hoping to make the team.

Will experienced enormous success, arriving home on Sunday 29 having qualified to join Team GB and being officially classed as an elite athlete.

He will be competing for Team GB at the European Championships in Paris in November. The team will be training to compete in the World Championships in Canada in July 2018. Special Olympics here we come?

The third part of the weekend, Bank Holiday Monday, was spent with a group of Tadcaster Stingrays swimmers.

We joined together to support David Wiseman, Invictus Team Captain, and his incredible Help for Heroes/Endeavour Fund Team at the Tadcaster Triathlon.

It was a fabulous morning. David has been a tireless source of support to Tadcaster Stingrays and in promoting sport for all in general so it was wonderful to be cheering his team on in return.