TV show to celebrate stars of cycling

This Is Lancashire: Jason Kenny in Bolton after London 2012 Jason Kenny in Bolton after London 2012

BRITAIN’S cycling success and Bolton’s golden boy Jason Kenny will be celebrated in a programme being screened tomorrow. 

The 25-year-old Olympic gold medal winner, who went to Mount St Joseph Business and Enterprise College in Farnworth, features in BBC One’s Inside Out North West along with a host of the sport’s most successful names.

With the track world championships taking place in Colombia, retired basketball player and psychologist John Amaechi goes behind the scenes at The National Cycling Centre in Manchester to find out the secret of their success.

Britain's first indoor Olympic standard cycling track, it opened in 1994, and regular users include Jason and other members of the successful GB track cycling teams and Paralympic team.

Jason, who won team sprint gold in his first Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and two gold medals at London 2012, was interviewed by programme makers, part of which features in tomorrow’s show.

Jason, who also won a silver medal at Beijing, said: “I started in cycling here at Manchester Velodrome and just joined the local club.

“I wasn’t racing at the time, I just joined a kids club and got talent spotted from there and I think I was 12 at the time.

“I’d been doing it for six months/ a year I think when I joined the talent team.”

The velodrome had to be built in order for Manchester’s bid for the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, which failed, but the structure later became a centrepiece of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Jason said: “I’ve been coming quite a while but then so have some of the others — Matt Crampton and Steven Burke all started around the same time so a lot of us have been here a very long time.”

It was a case of being at the right place, at the right time, combined with talent and determination that paved Jason’s path to Olympic glory.

He said: “From the age of 20, I started on the talent team the first year that was made — I was about 12 or 13.

“Then the Olympic programme, the first year that was made and then I got into the sprint academy the first year that was done.

“Then I popped up at the Beijing Olympics and won a gold medal so I just sort of floated straight through the system and appeared at 20-years-old at the Olympic games which is quite bizarre.”

Jason’s girlfriend Laura Trott also features in the programme, along with Chris Boardman, Victoria Pendleton, Bradley Wiggins and Boardman’s former coach, Peter Keen, who arrived at the velodrome brimming with confidence and vision in 1997.

The programme’s producer Sally Williams said: “I’ve always wanted to do something around cycling, just because it’s such an inspirational story.

“It was important to feature Jason because I think his story is almost a fairytale really.

“It’s an incredible story for him and he will still only be 28 when he goes to the Olympics in Rio.

“The whole theme of the programme is very celebratory. It was really just to tell this remarkable story about how this group of people came together with a dream and have created this power house of British cycling.”

Inside Out North West is on BBC One on Friday at 7.30pm.

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