Cycling sensation pedals into Woodkirk

Melissa Lowther held a workshop and talk about her cycling at Woodkirk Academy.
Melissa Lowther held a workshop and talk about her cycling at Woodkirk Academy.

As part of Yorkshire’s Tour De France celebrations, Woodkirk Academy welcomed back talented young cyclist Melissa Lowther to the school as part of an Express Yourself Day, run and led by the English department.

Melissa, an ex-pupil of Woodkirk, spoke about her experiences as a cyclist chosen as a Le Cadet Junior in the Tour De France.

Melissa was given the honour of cycling 30km of the Stage 1 route between Leeds and Harrogate in recognition of her talent and prospects in professional cycling.

To aid her development, Melissa is part of the British Cycling Olympic Development Programme and this bodes well for her to move into the British Olympic Cycling team and be part of Britain’s dominance in the world of professional cycling.

She spoke to pupils about her progress into professional cycling, her training regime and her motivation behind pursuing her cycling career. This proved extremely inspirational to current students and encouraged them to pursue their dreams and ambitions - possibly with cycling as a chosen career path.

Pupils also presented rap songs, musical performances as well as poetry and readings.

Ruth Buckle, English teacher said, “This event demonstrates that Woodkirk Academy prides itself on nurturing the next generation of young people to pursue their dreams, academically and socially and this event showcased to current pupils the endless opportunities that stand before them in their lives.”

Keeping with the Tour de France theme, pupils marked the occasion with a series of activities and workshops across the curriculum.

The art department asked students from year nine BTEC and year nine GCSE to take up the role of designers and generate a prototype sculpture for a bicycle.

The designs were realised in paper and card with students working in groups with their peers, problem solving and developing original sculptures.