Believe talent fund cyclists bring home the Ashes


FORGET about the cricket because young sports stars from Wigan Borough have already brought The Ashes back from Oz.

While the nation’s batters and bowlers are having a torrid time Down Under, our homegrown Cycle Speedway talent have already tasted success.

Astley and Tyldesley Cycle Club member Max Evans and Adam and Laura Watson, who ride for the Sheffield Stars, jetted over to Australia to take part in the ISCF Cycle Speedway World Championships.

Cycle speedway pits riders against each other over a short oval dirt track. Competitors fly round the 90 metre circuit on a simple bike with no suspension and just one gear.

Max, Adam and Laura qualified for the individual finals with top 10 finishes. And 15 year-old Max qualified for both the under 16s and under 18s finals. The achievements helped Team GB to overall victory in the Cycle Speedway Ashes Test Match last month.

Laura said: "Being able to travel to Australia, putting on the GB shirt and competing in the team is always a great experience and brings me such pride! As a sportsman, you never experience an atmosphere like it anywhere else."

Adam added: "Racing in Australia is a unreal experience and being able to race for GB is a huge honour and privilege. The atmosphere is a one of kind as no one day is ever the same."

The Tyldesley-born trio have all benefited from being part of the borough’s Believe Talent Fund. The initiative is part of Wigan Council’s Deal for Communities and is aimed at borough athletes who need financial help to compete. The Believe Fund is managed by Inspiring healthy lifestyles.

Wigan Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Cllr Chris Ready, said: "This funding was developed to allow our talented young athletes to compete on an international stage. It can help with travel costs, accommodation, training and equipment leaving the athlete to concentrate on giving it their best."

"Max, Laura and Adam’s achievements in Australia sum up what this fund is all about. We are extremely proud that they have been able to represent their country and their borough at such a high level."

The triumphant trio weren’t the only ones to find success in the championships. They were joined by other Astley and Tyldesley Club member Jakub Kosciecha, who finished fifth in the Junior Individual Final. Club member Mick Knowles made it to the Veterans’ Individual Final. While cycling colleagues Marcin Jakubiak, Tomasz Wlodarczyk, Przemek Binkowski and Kuba Kosciecha also competed.

The Believe Fund offers grants of up to £500 to athletes who live in Wigan and Leigh.

For more information about the fund and to find out how to apply click here.

Last updated: 15 December 2017