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September 23, 2013
The world’s leading cyclists competing in the Tour of Britain race in Cumbria on 16 September will be reminded both at the start and the finish of the race of the gruelling challenge of cycling through some of the country’s most magnificent mountain scenery. That’s because Cumbria’s fells are featured in both of the winning designs of a countywide schools competition to design the starting flag and stage winner's jersey.
Active Cumbria designed a Schools Pack to help engage cumbria school children in the Tour of Britain coming to our county first time for a full stage. The packs were full of bright ideas, tips and activities for young people to get involved in including the two competitions.
Two pupils emerged victorious from more than 1,600 entries in the competitions to conjur up a design for the official flag to start the race in Carlisle and a cycling jersey for the stage winner to be presented on the podium at the finish in Kendal.
Cumbria County Council Chairman Cllr Alan Barry visited both of the winners to present them with unique copies of their winning designs, a £150 voucher from Scotby Cycles in Carlisle and a goodie bag provided by British Cycling. The original winning drawings will also be archived in the county council’s archive service as documents to be kept for generations to come.
11-year-old Hannah Atkinson designed the winning flag – a detailed drawing which actually features five flags layered on top of each other, as well as the obligatory hills and sheep. Hannah moved up to Ullswater Secondary School in Penrith this term, but was a Year 6 pupil at Plumpton Primary School when she entered the competition, so returned to her former school to pick up her prizes and the congratulations of her old schoolmates.
Hannah said: “It felt really special to be named the winner, particularly as so many other children had entered the competition. I tried to combine all the different features of the Lake District into my design. We should all be really excited about the Tour of Britain coming because it’s bringing some of the world’s greatest cyclists right to our doorstep and showing off the beauty of Cumbria.”
10-year-old Ellie Holmes, a Year 6 pupil from Fairfield Primary School in Cockermouth, designed the winning jersey, which featured a winding road in the foreground and the fells and blue sky in the background, with patriotic Union Flag arms. “I couldn’t believe it when I was told I’d won,” said Ellie. “Our whole family watched the Tour de France and the Olympics cycling on the telly. When I was thinking of the design, I wanted something that seemed both Cumbrian and British. Our school’s going to watch the race come through Cockermouth, and it will be really exciting to think that one of them is going to be given my jersey!”
Cllr Alan Barry, Chairman of Cumbria County Council, said:
“It was a delight to meet the winners and to see their fantastic designs made real. I’ve been really impressed with both the standard of entries and the amount of effort our school children have put into conjuring up their designs. It’s a shame that we can only have two winners but both Hannah and Ellie have done a great job of representing the county in their designs. It’s been a really good way of generating enthusiasm for the Tour ahead of the race and ensuring young people are involved and engaged.”
The starting flag will be waved by the Mayor of Carlisle Cllr Ray Bloxham when the racers set off at 10.45am from outside the Old Town Hall on Monday. The Leader and Chair of South Lakeland District Council, Cllrs Evelyn Westwood and Peter Thornton, will be presenting the stage winner’s jersey in Kendal.
The competition, in which 111 schools registered and 1,620 designs were submitted, was co-ordinated by Active Cumbria, Cumbria County Council and Sport England’s partnership body for promoting sports and physical activity.
The starting flag was made by the Whitehaven-based Amazing Art group, a mental health and wellbeing project facilitated by local arts company New Arts North which engages young adults in Copeland and Allerdale in practical art and film projects. The winner's jersey was produced by Vitesse, official jersey supplier to the Tour of Britain.