Cycling is booming at Shrewsbury Sports Village with the outdoor closed-road 1km circuit seeing a 300% increase in usage since February.
The increase in usage is thanks to the motivational push of Ioan Said, who started working at the centre in February.
Ioan lives in Wrexham, but two days a week he makes the drive to Shrewsbury to promote cycling as a sport and leisure activity for all. For him, going out for a ride with his wife and son has become a way for the whole family to stay healthy and bond together, and his goal is to encourage others to discover the benefits of cycling, regardless of their experience level.
A safe place to cycle
Ioan commented how the track is quite rare: “The people of Shrewsbury don’t know how lucky they are to have this closed-road outdoor circuit on their doorstep. This type of track is actually quite rare in the UK, but it gives cyclists the chance to enjoy their ride without the bother of cars, motorbikes, traffic lights or speed bumps. This is a safe place to cycle for people of all levels.
“Since I started here, we’ve staged a number of key events, many of which had never been to Shrewsbury Sports Village. We’ve had Team GB’s Paracycling Team use our track as a training camp, Beavers and Cubs have started coming and later this month, we’ll be welcoming an Invictus Training Camp!
“As a special treat, children who come to cycle with during one of the Mid-Shropshire Wheelers Saturday sessions could receive a free Wheelers shirt. These tops look great and with the prominent yellow colouring might even inspire dreams of one day leading the Tour de France! Stocks and sizes are limited, so it’s on a first come, first served basis.
“If people want to try the track, we run various sessions through the week, including our popular Inclusive Club for people with disabilities, which runs every Tuesday between 10am and 3pm and of course Mid-Shropshire Wheelers Go-Ride sessions for young people every Saturday at 11am. All details are on our website, but we also have a dedicated Facebook page called “Cycling at the Shrewsbury Sports Village”. Please check that out and make sure you come on down for a ride round the circuit!”
Love for the cycle track
Robert Macey, Shropshire Council cabinet member for culture and digital, said:
“Ioan has done an excellent job since he started in February, and love for the cycle track and the different activities on offer is growing.
“Cycling is excellent both for fitness and getting about and we are delighted so many people are now taking part in activities at our sports village and recognising what a unique opportunity the centre has to offer.”
Shrewsbury Sports Village, along with the Quarry, Oswestry Leisure Centre and Market Drayton Swimming & Fitness Centre, is operated by Shropshire Community Leisure Trust in partnership with Serco Leisure, and on behalf of Shropshire Council.