Coaching with Chris Hoy
On 3 June MDCC's coaches hosted an afternoon of coached sessions at Bisham Abbey. The coaches in attendance were Paul & Andy Richardson, Nigel Shurben, and Chris Hoy - yes that's the Chris Hoy, Sir Chris Hoy, multiple Olympic and World Champion.
The occasion was a PR day held by Highland Spring - who are on of Chris' sponsors - to which the winners of a competition held in the Evening Standard were invited. The 40 children were given the opportunity to take part in four different sports. As well as Chris supporting the cycling, Jamie Murray and his mother were there to support the Tennis sessions.
Josie Heffernan, our Britich Cycling regional manager, helped us out with a loan of bikes which are very handily kept in a container at Bisham. BC also provided water bottles for us to give away to all particpants. I took along my track bike to show the kids the kind of bike that Chris rides on the track and it was immediately put to use for the publicity photos. I may not be famous (yet) but my track bike is! It's all over the internet; here, here, here and here.
We decided that we would use the sessions to teach the kids sprinting skills and Chris mucked in to help teach the correct technique and also to shout encouragement in the sprint relay race. At one point Chris took part in the slow race and gallantly made sure he didn't win it; some lucky kids can now claim that they beat Chris Hoy in a race!
Between sessions there was ample time to chat with Chris and he told me about the man that gave an after dinner speech at which he was present, stating that he had beaten Chris in a cycle speedway event when they were both youngsters. "That was funny", said Chris, "I've never seen a cycle speedway event in my life, let alone ridden in one." The things you have to put up with when you're famous!
Chris was much in demand for photographs and autographs from the kids and their parents, and we took the opportunity to collar one of the local press photographers to take our photo with Chris. I also got Chris to sign an MDCC cap which we will raffle at the next club dinner.
The feedback we were given after the event was that most kids said that the cycling was their favourite activity. We must be doing something right.
MDCC get a new coach (for the day)
Chris Hoy gets ready for the slow race
Chris tries hard not to win the slow race
One of the many press photos