Tag: Sport

Beestonian to run London Marathon in aid of diabetes research

On the 28th April, Beeston resident Stuart Baird will attempt to run the London Marathon to raise money for vital research on diabetes after his son James was diagnosed with type 1, the most severe form of the disease.

“He lost a dramatic amount of weight in a very short period of time and he was rushed to the children’s hospital. it was a big shock. Nobody in the family has any history of diabetes,” said Stuart.

Stuart is originally from Leeds but has been living in Beeston for almost 20 years. His love for the town is such that he has expanded his house twice since moving to the area in the late ’90s.

At the start of his sons’ treatment, Stuart was asked by one of the doctor’s if his son would be willing to take part in something called ‘the honeymoon trial.’ “It’s to test the functionality of the pancreas,” explained Stuart. “You’re having to inject yourself before every meal with insulin and you end up with a continuous closed loop monitor, which monitors his blood sugars and that talks to a pump which feeds him the insulin he needs,” he said.

The trial was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) a charity which works towards funding type 1 diabetes research. According to JDRF, over 29,000 children in the UK suffer from type 1 diabetes, with Stuart hoping that the money raised will                                                                         benefit them.

“My target is £2000,” reveals Stuart. “The funds will directly help children on this research trial in Nottingham and elsewhere in the country. The reason why it’s so important to fund these projects is so that young people and children who’ve got type 1 diabetes, can be helped to control there blood sugar’s from a very early age, which means that they will live happier lives and will have just as long a life span as everyone else would,” says Stuart.

“I know not everyone can or wants to run but if you encourage others, it is so appreciated. You never know what that person is running for, or how hard it has been for them.”

Running the London marathon will be far from straight forward. At 26.2 miles, only the Paris marathon is bigger in Europe. In preparation, Stuart had been clocking up plenty of miles when we spoke at the end of February.

“It’s the first time I’ve done a marathon, even though I think I’ve done at least ten half marathons. I’ve already clocked up 180 miles in training over January and February. I’ll have to run next Sunday (3rd March) 16 miles, the next Sunday is 18, I do 3 lots of 20 miles and then one 22 and that’s just before the marathon,” he said.

“If you are raising money for a loved one, the last mile and finish line can get quite emotional – it’s journey’s end.

“For example, the Great North Run finishes with a mile uphill and just as you hit the top you see the North Sea, a beach and around 80,000 people cheering you on to the finish line. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

“When you have your name on your running number, people call out your name and encourage you. It’s a great feeling. I know not everyone can or wants to run but if you encourage others, it is so appreciated. You never know what that person is running for, or how hard it has been for them – a lot have lost children, parents or friends and are running for their memory, as well as raising money” said Stuart.

So what does Stuart hope to ultimately achieve from attempting this mammoth task?

“I want more people to know about type 1 diabetes and the challenges that those with type 1 have to face. It doesn’t just affect the person, but it affects the person’s family because you need to appreciate that they can’t just eat and drink and not care about what they’re putting into there body. They need to constantly think about there insulin and blood sugar levels

“I did run the London Landmarks half marathon for JDRF last year, but it’s not so much about me and running, it’s more about me running for JDRF because I’m a big believer in what they are trying to achieve and obviously James has directly benefited from the work that the NUH (Nottingham University Hospitals) team and JDRF have done. It’s just phenomenal really.”

To support Stuart’s efforts visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-baird5?utm_id=26



All to play for at Beeston FC

Beeston FC
Beeston FC under 9’s.

Beeston FC has grown considerably since we last covered them a year ago. The club has further developed there work with girl’s football, to the extent in which they now have four separate groups playing, whilst the club itself continues with its plans for a clubhouse which will benefit not just the football club but the local community as a whole.

“I’ve got a daughter who’s now 12 and she and her friends wanted to try football, so I ran a few sessions at Roundhill Primary School,” said Beeston FC’s Charlie Walker.

“As a club and the way football is evolving, the girl’s game is such an important part of it that we wanted to offer that. We’ve got groups at under 7, under 9, under 11 and under 13 with just over 50 signed up and we’ve put six coaches, a mixture of men and women, through there level 1 FA football coaching course.”

The club have come far with the development of their girl’s teams, with January seeing the under 13’s take part in their first competitive match in a friendly against Nottingham Forest Ladies under 13’s.

Football participation among females is at an all-time high in this country. In March last year, the FA revealed that 1.7 million females aged five and over, took part every month.The increased attention given to the England Women’s football team, nicknamed The Lionesses, has certainly helped to remove the stigma that football is a sport primarily for males.

Beeston FC took part in the FA’s Wildcat Scheme to try and get more girls interested in playing football, however, the Wildcat Scheme only lasted until the summer, something which makes running a girl’s football team throughout the year more difficult.

“Because the wildcat scheme was supported by existing coaches who all had their own teams, the challenge was to find coaches who would be willing to take it on should we support them and also, could we keep hold of those who came to the wildcat sessions and find more girls to join,” says Charlie. “But we have managed to do that, which has been our big achievement of 2018.”

Whilst Beeston FC is one of the most popular football clubs in the area, like many at grassroots level, it’s difficult to fund for new facilities.

In November 2017, the club where unsuccessful in there bid to receive £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund, in order to improve the facilities even though they received over 5000 votes, one of the highest numbers in the competition.

“It’s important for us as a club, that as we develop the teams and attract more young people to play, that we can improve the facilities,” Charlie tells me.

“If we can have a clubhouse to bring people together and create a community feel within the club as well as bringing some benefit to the Rylands, then that would help in terms of the growth and development of the club.

We run a little fundraising event, we’ve just done a raffle. We advertise them on Beeston Updated so we’ll be publicising stuff” Charlie concludes.

If your daughter is interested in playing for Beeston FC please contact Charlie on 07803 592032.


Beeston Badminton Club

Beeston’s social badminton club with a competitive edge

by Isaac Seelochan

At this time of year, with the murkier weather and many people hopelessly looking to maintain New Year’s resolutions, indoor sports will become increasingly popular.

Beeston badminton club

Badminton is one in which you can have fun with friends whilst keeping fit.

Beeston Valley Badminton Club meet up twice a week every Monday and Thursday at Chilwell Olympia. The club has a strong membership with around 40 members, and like many sports clubs around Beeston, their history stretches beyond the 21st century.

“Beeston Valley BC has been part of the ‘Beeston badminton scene’ since 1947, when the club was set up at the Valley Mission Church on Queen’s Road, now a nursery opposite Humber Road,” said membership secretary Alison Bexon.

“My uncle started the club as a church social group after he played badminton with some Canadians with whom he was stationed during WWII. As more players joined, the club entered teams into the Nottinghamshire Badminton Association Leagues. My parents met at the club and I also met my husband here too.”

Badminton, whilst being by no means an easy sport to play, is perhaps more enjoyable to participate in than many other sports as even if you struggle, it gives you a chance to socialise.

“We’re here to be competitive because otherwise we wouldn’t play in the league, but it’s important that we have a social side as well,” said Alison.

“Everybody gets on with everyone. If you’re not good enough to play everybody has a place and an opportunity to play, but it’s also about encouraging people who want to take that next step: rather than coming and hitting a shuttle about with friends, they want to take it a bit more seriously.”

I went on a Thursday night but being half term, was told that regular coach Mick had gone away for the day, so the coaching duties fell to Ric Latham, a player at the club who got involved in coaching through a primary school he used to work at.

“I’m quite a mental sided coach so I do a lot in terms of anticipation. Say you have to keep the shuttle low, having that in mind for your anticipation for your own team and then bringing that all together at the end, when you’re being told what shot you’ve got to play while also having to listen out for the shot being played on the other side.”

members in action

During the session, everyone has to decide whether they were attacking or defending which Ric explains, “generally, if you’re attacking you will be hitting the shuttle down looking to  hit the floor and to score, whereas if you’re defending, you’re really just looking to try and repel that and usually you’ll see the shuttle going upwards.”

Club members also get a chance to socialise with each other off the court, with a trip away during May being referred to as ‘the May trip.’

“It’s a non-Badminton thing. It’s about finding a cottage in the country somewhere around the UK and spending a week or a long weekend in May walking, socialising, eating, drinking. It’s very sociable, but we never play any badminton, we play tennis but never badminton!” said long-time club member James Capel.

Beeston is the home to many sports clubs, but few are as popular and enjoyable to be around as this one.

The club is a fantastic ambassador for badminton in Beeston.


Beeston Touch Rugby Game

Beeston plays host to The European Touch Rugby Championships

Touch Rugby is a sport that many of you will have heard of, some may have played it at school, but few will have taken it seriously as a competitive sport.

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Some of the matches taking place at the event

This year, the European Touch Rugby Championships where held at Highfields Park for four days in July. Such is the growing popularity of Touch Rugby, that the event was broadcast on the BBC for the first time.

“I’ve been involved in the sport for eight years and it’s grown enormously since I started,” said Referee Manager and Beeston local, Dani Hegg. “When I started in Nottingham we had around 50 people involved and now we have about 300!”

Touch Rugby shares some similarities with Rugby, but with a few noticeable differences. Whilst you can score a try, there are no scrums. Tackling is done by a touch and there are no line-outs.

The matches last for 40 minutes, with two 20-minute half’s and a short break in between. “It involves a lot of sprinting, so it’s quite physical,” said Dani.

The open competitions including the men’s, women’s and mixed are the most popular, but there is also a senior’s category for over 45’s, proving that Touch Rugby is a sport where, if fit enough, anyone can play.

So how popular is Touch Rugby and what brings the sport to Beeston?

“The event has been going on for over 20 years,” explained Dani.  “The first time, it was obviously still quite small, but Touch (Rugby) is a growing sport and we now have about 800 to 900 players here to compete, with 100 referees. We always need at least 3 referees per game and 14 players per team, so there’s quite a lot of people involved at this event.

“Nottingham was put forward to host the event, because we have some of the best pitches. The last event was in Ireland, and we’ve got the World Cup happening next year in Malaysia, which will involve more teams.

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The tents of some of the competing nations

“There’s 17 countries taking part in this event, we have referees from all of these countries as well as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa who came to help us out, because the sport is a lot bigger in the southern hemisphere where the referees have years of experience that they’re giving to us here in England.”

Halfway through our conversation, a loud claxon sounds which Dani explains is the signal for the start of the second half of all the matches.

“All the matches are centralised, with the claxon going off for half-time and then when the matches start so everyone knows what’s happening.

“We have a Group Stage and then there’s Knockout’s followed by Gold Medal and Silver Medal matches.

“The Men’s and the Women’s Open are the most popular categories, because that is the highest level, where countries will put players in.”

So how do you get involved if you are interested?

“To join, there is a Facebook group called Nottingham Touch and we’re also on Twitter where you can contact us.

“We have Leagues where there are mixed Women’s and Men’s games which are played on the Beeston Hockey pitches in Winter and Spring and then we have the Summer League which is played at Gresham Playing Fields, so there’s quite a lot going off. Nottingham is one of the bigger clubs in the country.

“I hope that this event will have a good impact on Beeston. Nottingham Touch Rugby are always looking for players to join, so we are hoping that people coming here today will see that this is a great sport to participate in.”

Many in Beeston will not have realised that such an international event was taking place on their doorstep, but there’s no doubt that few sports are more fun, engaging and easier to play than Touch Rugby.


Beeston FC Coach Charlie Walker’s World Cup Predictions

With the 2018 FIFA World Cup getting closer, I spoke with Beeston FC coach Charlie Walker to find out what he thinks about the tournament and why England will win it! (yes, seriously)

What are your first memories of the World Cup?

My first memories of the World Cup, where when England beat Italy 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Wembley and Kevin Keegan scored an amazing header from the penalty spot. But it wasn’t enough, and we didn’t qualify for the 1978 World Cup.

Which was your favourite World Cup?

Italia 90, when England got to the semi-finals. I was a student and it was just great following their progress at a World Cup, which is obviously quite unusual in my life time! I just loved the excitement and drama of it all. David Platt scored that amazing shoulder goal, against Belgium in the last minute to put us through. After that you just saw children everywhere trying to recreate that goal.

What do you make of England’s group?

I think our group is quite tricky. Belgium are very good. I think Tunisia are playing quite well, but I’m optimistic and I think we will get through the group stage. If we get through the group stage, like in Italia 90 where we struggled through, but grew into the tournament, I don’t see why we can’t go on a run and it might be quite exciting.

Which player is crucial to England’s chances this summer?

I suppose the obvious one is Harry Kane, because you’ve got to have someone who can bag a lot of goals to progress, I think that’s a given. The other obvious one’s are the goalkeeper (which I presume will be Jordan Pickford) as the Champions League final showed you can’t fail in that area. I really like Jesse Lingard, he seems to play without fear which for an England player is something. His runs and his movement seem good to me, so I think he brings a lot of quality, and I think he could make a difference.

What do you make of the expectations around this England team?

In a way our best chance this year is that our expectations are so low. The players are quite young so if the expectations are so low and they don’t feel a great deal of pressure, there’s no reason why they can’t come together and succeed. Greece won the Euro’s in 2004, which no one expected, so there’s definitely talent in our team, I think they’ve just got to stay calm.

Who do you see winning the golden boot at this year’s tournament?

I’ll go for Griezmann on the basis that he’s been there and done it before at the Euro’s a few years ago.

Finally, who’s your pick to win it?

I’m going to go mad and go with England. In reality I don’t think they will, but I just like the fact that nobody expects us to do that well, I think that’s really good and I like the squad.

I think one of the problems we’ve had in the past, is that even though we’ve had a more talented group of players, we struggled to put it all together on the pitch. This group of players seem to be able to translate their club form, to the international stage. I’m hoping that like when England won The Ashes in 2005, where we had a fairly young test team who weren’t tarnished by failure, that our group of players have that optimism.

A lot of them have a good relationship with Southgate from when he was coaching the England Under 21 team, so I’m just hoping that comes together and creates a positive dynamic. I think the group stage will be hard, but if we get through that, then theirs an outside chance.

How are things going with Beeston FC since we last spoke?

Things are going well. We now get 40 girls every week playing girls football and that continues until the end of July. Any girls aged 5 to 13 are welcome to come along and join.

Also, the club house at our home ground on Trent Vale road, is not great but we are applying for a grant from the Football foundation to try and regenerate that, to create a facility which has four changing rooms, a function room, kitchen and full disability access. The cost of that is around £500,000, and we’ve had plans drawn up by an architect in Beeston, which have been submitted to the Football Foundation. We’ve got through the first stage of the Football Foundation process which is really good. Now we have to develop the plans further and try to find some funding to put towards whatever the Football Foundation will pay if they accept our bid.


Chilwell Tennis Club: “The unintentional best kept secret in Chilwell and Beeston”

With the Nottingham Open and Wimbledon coming up, I decided to have a look to see if there were any local tennis clubs in the area.

I came across Chilwell Tennis Club, hidden away behind the Chilwell Memorial Hall, it may seem that they are only for an exclusive group of people, but I realised straight away that they were desperate for this to not be the case.

“I found out about this place a few years ago,” said Chris Clift, Secretary of the tennis club at Chilwell Memorial Hall.

“I’ve always wanted see what was going on behind the hall and I noticed that they were playing tennis. I met with Colin Bradford, a great tennis player and long-standing member and I’ve been here ever since.

“You could say that we are, unintentionally, the best kept secret in Chilwell and Beeston, because people don’t even know that we’re here. Part of my job is to raise our profile because we do need more members.

Tennis members playing doubles
Playing doubles

“To try and get more members we asked our local residents through questionnaires and from speaking to them, what they wanted from this space.”

“The first piece of advice we took on board was to get in touch with the local school, to see if they would be interested in using this for coaching and they said yes.

“That obviously got parents interested and we started running Saturday morning sessions as well as the schools coaching on Thursday mornings. Those two initiatives have really raised our profile.”

The work that Chris has put into the club has seen him pick up an award for his efforts, although he insists that the award is for the efforts of everyone at the club.

“I was very proud to receive an award on behalf of the club.

“The Nottinghamshire LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) asked everyone to nominate people in various categories and one of the categories was volunteer of the year.

“Unknown to me, the sports development officer for Nottingham at the time put my name forward and it was a total shock when I got the phone call saying that I’ve been nominated and that I’ve won it.

LTA Trophy
The LTA Nottinghamshire Volunteer of the Year award given to club secretary, Chris Clift

“I went to pick up the award at Meadow Lane in February, receiving the award from Tony Pickard who used to be Stefan Edberg’s coach. It was a great moment, but I am very much a club member who accepted the award on behalf of the club because we’ve all worked hard.”

Another hard-working volunteer at the club, is treasurer Pete Whitehouse who has been involved at the club for a decade in which there have been some tough times.

“We have a policy where if we get less than 20 members in one year then we are supposed to close.  One year when it was really bad, we had 21 members.

“Since then we’ve changed things around a bit. We’ve set up social media accounts and a website. We also went on a leaflet drive, and that got quite a few new members.”

Oliver Adams, 24, has only recently joined the club, but he enjoys the chance to play tennis and meet new people.

“I casually play tennis with my brother, but I enjoy playing at a club because it’s more structed, and you get to meet new people.

“I’ve always loved watching tennis as well. I started watching in around 2003/2004 when Tim Henman was playing, and then I got into watching Roger Federer and Andy Murray.”

Bridget Scott is in her 60s and has been living in Chilwell for the past two years, and like Oliver she enjoys the social benefits of playing at the club.

“I’ve been playing since I was 15, I never played matches though. I prefer the social side of things.

“I used to play tennis down in Kent quite a lot and when I moved here I wanted to join a club, so when I saw a notice on the door I decided to come along.”

“I really enjoy the people here, they’re great. If you make a mistake, they never make you feel rubbish. It’s a lovely environment.”

Tennis is not the only activity available at the Chilwell Memorial Hall. Regular activities include dance classes for all ages and styles, Zumba and line dancing, fitness classes, as well as indoor bowls, table tennis and badminton. There is also a snooker table for those interested in snooker.

All new club members can get a 25% discount by quoting ‘Beestonian’.

To find out more information about the club, visit: https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/ChilwellMemorialInstituteLawnTennisClub


The Rise of Beeston Hockey Club

Hockey may not necessarily be as popular in this country as football, cricket or indeed tennis, but in Beeston it’s a sport which has put the town on the map unlike anything else.

Beeston Hockey Club, known as ‘the Bees’ are one of Nottingham’s great sporting stories, with their men’s team having risen from the bottom of the local hockey leagues to the top of the Premier League, even Brian Clough would be proud of this sporting fairy-tale.

I spoke with David Griffiths, one of the club’s directors and a former player to learn more about the story of Beeston Hockey Club.

“I’ve been working at the club for the last 15 years, my dad – Graham Griffiths – is the first team manager, who’s been here for 30 years now. Since he’s been at the club, he’s taken the first team from the bottom of local hockey, right to the top of the Premier League and one of the leading clubs in Europe, so it’s been a fairy-tale and I’ve grown up around it.”

“The club was founded in 1907 by a group of Nottingham high school pupils who lived in Beeston and then we’ve developed over time.”

“In the early 2000’s we had a little dip and got relegated from the Premier League, but in 2006 we had an Olympian from Pakistan called Mohammed Nadeem, who’s one of our highest capped players. I was playing at the time and we just had a fantastic season, got back into the Premier League and we’ve been there ever since.”

“Recently we’ve won the England Hockey Cup five times in the last nine years and we won the England Hockey Championship for the first time in 2011, having won it 3 times since.”

“The facilities have been the key to our growth over the last few years. in 2001 we received a large lottery grant from Sports England which allowed us to build two full sized pitches and a half-sized training area. Then we completely renovated the club house and built a new car park, so from that point onwards we really became the centre of excellence for hockey in the midlands and we’ve been developing the site recently as well.”

“In 2016 we resurfaced the main pitch and the smaller pitch in between the two and we’ve got plans to build another two hockey pitches as well. If we manage to pull that off it will be one of the biggest hockey centres in Europe.”

To showcase how successful Beeston Hockey Club has become, four players have been selected for England at the Commonwealth Games in Australia this month.

“The players who are going to the Commonwealth Games are Adam Dixon, Ollie Willars, Sam Ward and Mark Gleghorne. James Albery just missed out because he broke his foot in Malaysia 3 weeks ago, so we could have had five.”

It’s not just the men’s first team that are enjoying success, the ladies first team have also had a near flawless campaign.

Ladies team
The ladies first team celebrate after being crowned champions of the 2017/18 North Conference. (Credit: David Kissman)

“The ladies first team play in the North Conference, which is the league below the Premier League. This season they have won 17 games in a row and are champions of that particular division, so they will now go into a playoff to try and reach the Premier League. Fingers crossed we’ll have the men and women in the top flight next season.”

Few would have known that Beeston would be home to such a success story, no doubt their success will inspire many in the years ahead.


Beeston FC is at the heart of the community

Meeting the Beeston FC’s Under 10’s Sunday team reminds you of why Beeston has such a good local feel about it.

Beeston FC2

The team is largely made up of players who are from or live in Beeston and it’s clear that this has an impact on the positive atmosphere at the club.

“I enjoy playing for Beeston because there’s a good team with good chemistry. If you’re feeling down they never say you didn’t do that well, they will cheer you up, try to make you laugh, or just say no you didn’t do that wrong you did everything right,” said Kyle, aged 9.

William, aged 10 agrees saying, “I would describe Beeston FC as talented, amazing, good chemistry and just the best team in the world really.”

So why is there such a positive atmosphere around Beeston FC and what is it that makes them so popular?

“Beeston Football Club is very community-based,” said the under 16’s Sunday coach and club treasurer Leroy Payne.

“We use the C word a lot as it’s a big tagline for the club due to the amazing community we have here in Beeston. We’ve got a lot of volunteers and we’ve got some really strong teams built from the people in the local area.”

“The club was founded by a group of local football volunteers out of Round Hill Primary School in 1988 as Beeston Centurions, but we changed the name to Beeston Football Club in 2015 and it’s just progressed and gone on to become one of the biggest clubs in the area.”

The club recently acquired a 99-year old lease for a plot of land on Trent Vale road, formerly the works ground for Plessey and Ericsson, which is well known amongst thousands of people in Nottinghamshire, who played football, hockey, cricket, tennis and squash there over decades.

The local community especially around the Rylands have all really warmed to us and we feel as though we’re well respected

Back in November, the club were hoping to win £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund to improve the facilities at the Trent Vale site and although they were unsuccessful, they still received over 5000 votes one of the highest numbers in the competition.

“Beeston FC has had a great impact on the community,” said Leroy. “We invited loads of people to vote for our Aviva community fund through social media and we received an incredible number of votes. It was greeted very positively on Beeston updated as well.”

“The local community especially around the Rylands have all really warmed to us and we feel as though we’re well respected. We’ve also got some good coaches and volunteers who are always willing to help.”

Charles Walker, one of the under 10’s coaches has played a key role in the development of the club over the past few years and is hoping to develop a girl’s football team at the club.

“We’ve currently got an under 13’s girls team who aren’t playing matches yet, but we train nine of them.”

“We’re trying to get the number of girls in our team up to twelve and then we can apply for the Wild Cats scheme through the FA. [It’s] A girl’s national football scheme aimed at those under 11, where a club is chosen in each area to try to get thirty girls playing football within three months.”

“We also want to use it as a way of getting other people involved in the club particularly women, as we’re looking to get some older girls in to do some volunteering for us, because I think they can be good role models for the girls.”

There is no doubt that Beeston FC has become more than just a football club, but also a way of getting together with friends and having fun. Beeston FC is a fantastic representation of the community spirit that Beeston has.


The Tumbling Gymnast Isaiah Aduhene

Meet the Beeston gymnast hoping for success at the World Championships

Training for a World Championship event and being home schooled, Izaiah Aduhene is not your average 13-year-old.

Izaiah is a tumbler; a form of gymnastics performed without props or equipment, it involves somersaults and flips, whilst trying to maintain your balance.

His father, Anthony Aduhene recently set up a Just Giving campaign to try and raise £2000 for him and his family to go to the World Championships in Sofia. The money raised will be used for travel and hotel expenses, as well as the cost of Izaiah’s kit.

They also need the money to buy their own food and water, as they can’t risk eating or drinking contaminated food before a competition.

I spoke with him in October to find out more about him and his campaign.

 How did you get involved in gymnastics?

“I’ve been a gymnast for about five years now. When I was younger, I used to bounce on the trampoline my grandad gave me, and I was doing backflips off my bed as well.”

“I used to watch videos of Damian Walters, a free runner, parkour, gymnast and stuntman on YouTube to try and learn how to do backflips. When I was eight, I used to go to a trampolining class, and then I met Damian who asked me if I wanted to come with him to the gym and that is when I started tumbling. Since then he has become my coach.”

What is it that you like so much about tumbling?

“What I really like about it, is that I always get a chance to learn new things. I just enjoy doing it, so hopefully I can go to the World Championships and do well.”

gymnast 3
Izaiah in action in the Loule Cup.

 What previous events have you taken part in?

“Two or three weeks ago I was in Loule, for the Loule Cup. We raised money through a Go Fund me campaign.”

“I’ve also taken part in the British Championships at the Echo arena in Liverpool, earlier this year as that is what qualifies you for the World Championships.”

There’s no age limit, but I’m in the Juniors, which is for under 14’s, then there is the seniors which is from those aged 17 upwards.”

gymnast 2
Izaiah in action at the British championships.


What preparation do you do in the run up to an event?

“I train four and sometimes five times a week at the Derby City Gymnastics centre. I do tumble events, and I’m also doing a tag team show. I don’t really have a diet or anything!”

Tell me what your previous results have been and how they have improved since you started competing?

“Last year I came second to bottom, of the spring event which is the qualifiers for the British Championships, I fell over a lot of times. There were 23 people and I came 22nd. In the second event I finished 15th out of 16th as well.”

“This year I have started to come third and then second in the Loule Cup, so I have made a lot of progress. I also got two bronze medals at the Spring events at the British Championships.”

Who are your inspirations when it comes to gymnastics?

“Damian is my inspiration, I also look up to people like Greg Townley and Kristof Willerton, but Damian is the main reason for why I started.”

Tell me about your Just Giving campaign and what you’re trying to raise money for?

“It’s for my upcoming event the World Championships in Sofia, on the 13th November. We’re trying to raise funds as it is quite expensive for me and my family to travel, with the money needed for the flights, the hotel and the entry fee, so we’re just trying to raise some money through go fund me. We are also doing a competition in my gym; the entry fee is £10 to raise money for me going to the World Championships.”

What are your future plans?

“I want to go stunting, because that’s what Damian does, and it looks cool. Tumbling isn’t in the Olympics but if it does become an Olympic sport, I would love to compete in it. I would also like to be a coach one day when I get my coaching badges.”

To donate to Izaiah’s campaign visit:


Beeston Road Club continues Britain’s cycling craze

Since Britain’s cycling success at the Olympics, this countries perception of the sport has changed to an extent that it is now seen as fashionable.


Local cycling clubs across the country have benefited from this current and rising trend, including Beeston Road Club.

The club was founded on Wollaton Park by a group of cyclists on VE day in 1945. Together they formed the Beeston Touring Club, which would then become Beeston Road Club.

One of Beeston Road Club’s most popular groups are its junior group and I managed to go and watch one of their sessions at Harvey Hadden, and speak to the main coach in charge, Louise O’Reilly.

“I’m the go ride lead who looks after the junior section of the club and I’m also one of the coaches along with Lisa Reddish and Adam Smith. We are all volunteers, I work in Lincoln for Active Lincolnshire, so my job is to try and get people more active, similarly to what I do here.”

“Around four years ago, we applied to be a part of British Cycling’s go ride club, which meant that we had to have to have several things in place, such as a safeguarding officer and coaches.”

“We’ve cycled to Derby and back again staying in a youth hostel overnight.”

“Lots of parents had kids nearby who wanted to join, so we started taking in children from ten upwards and now we’ve gone down to eight. We go up to sixteen, after which they become a ‘youth’ where they then get entered into the youth leagues.”

“Coming down to Harvey Hadden in the summer is great, because it’s off road and we can work on lots of different race tactics, so some of them do little races, some do a breakaway and it just gets them used to riding in groups and practising things like cornering at speed whilst we can talk without there being traffic to worry about.”

The group have also been on cycling trips outside of their regular cycling sessions.

“We’ve cycled to Derby and back again staying in a youth hostel overnight, it was our first away trip. Some of the group also go on the velodrome along with other clubs every three or four weeks.”

Beeston Road Club, has cyclists who are there with ambitions to become a professional cyclist, but also those who just want to have fun.

“I really love cycling; my dad is really into it and we often cycle together but I see it as more of a hobby,” said Joe aged 14. “I learnt to cycle when I was three, I still remember the park in London where I learnt how to ride a bike! I started riding about two years ago.”

“Everyone has to have a way to exercise and cycling is my way. I also love the banter when I come here!”

Caitlin aged 10, finished sixth last year out of eighty other cyclists in the U-12 Notts & Derby Cycle Cross League. “I’ve been cycling for six years and I’m hoping to become a professional cyclist one day and race in the Olympics” she said.

To join Beeston Road Club, visit: www.britishcycling.org.uk/clubfinder and type in Beeston RC.


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