Seven Cardiff schools have been awarded a grant of £12,500 to celebrate the career of Geraint Thomas and the key role that cycling club, the Maindy Flyers, played in his development.
The grant has been awarded as part of the Arts Council of Wales’ “Creative Collaborations” scheme and the funds will be used to develop artwork that will eventually surround the famous track – a breeding ground of many cycling champions – which is situated on the grounds of the Better Cardiff operated Maindy Centre.
Children from Cathays High School, Albany Primary, Allensbank Primary, Gladstone Primary, St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary, St. Monica’s Church in Wales Primary and Ysgol Mynydd Bychan will all work collaboratively with a variety of artists, musicians and poets with the aim of creating a permanent visual reminder of the importance of Maindy Centre to the history of Welsh sport.
The project will be supported by Arts Active Trust and will culminate with a Yellow Jersey Festival which will be held at Maindy Centre in July 2019 to coincide with this year’s edition of the Tour de France. The Festival will feature musical contributions from schools involved in the project and will stage the official unveiling of the artwork that’s been created.
Better Maindy Centre is Cardiff’s only outdoor cycle track and the home of the Maindy Flyers, where 2018 Tour De France winner, Geraint Thomas started his career.
Anthony Hayes, Manager of Maindy Centre, operated by Better Cardiff, said:
“Maindy Centre is proud to be part of this exciting art project which will celebrate local sporting hero and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Geraint Thomas’s fantastic achievement. It will mean that children and young people in the Cathays area will be able to record their admiration and support for Geraint’s sporting journey and celebrate his aspiration when, as a young boy, he started cycling with the Maindy Flyers at Cardiff’s only dedicated outdoor cycling track. Through art, young people can inspire others to follow a similar sporting journey.”
Deian Jones, Chairman of the Maindy Flyers Youth Cycling Club, said:
“Maindy Flyers Youth Cycling Club has a fantastic history with Geraint’s tour victory a particular highlight. This artwork will no doubt inspire the next generation of young cyclists and help the club go from strength to strength.”
Miss Siân Evans, Headteacher at Ysgol Mynydd Bychan, said:
“This project will create a lasting commemoration of not only Geraint Thomas’ success – but all the former Maindy Flyers members that have gone on to enjoy successful careers as professional cyclists. “Just dream big, go for it, let nothing hold you back,” was one of Geraint Thomas’ messages following his victory. This project ‘dreams big’ but is one that could potentially inspire a new generation of cycling and sporting enthusiasts. It will also provide the children from the community with a permanent visual reminder that they should aim high and be relentless in pursuit of their dreams and that, with hard work, success is achievable for all – whatever their chosen field might be.”