There was more than one reason to smile on the last day of term for the children of Cambridge Primary School when they were visited by two World Championship medal winning cyclists, Tom Sexton and Campbell Stewart.
The two Cambridge-based cyclists ride for the Vantage New Zealand men’s endurance team and visited the school to promote cycling and sport in general, ahead of the upcoming track cycling season which begins in October.
The pair joined in the fun at Cambridge Primary’s tabloid sports day, playing with parachutes, doing team relays and competing in a tug of war competition.
The students were excited to have professional athletes take time out from training to come and visit them and try out different games and sports that they normally wouldn’t do.
Six-year-old Harper Laurenson said having the riders there was “really fun” and that the best part was having Stewart, the omnium World Champion, help her with the parachute game. The funniest part was watching “the big bike riders playing cat and rat and chasing each other.”
While it has been a few years since Sexton and Stewart were at primary school, the return to their playground days was met with enthusiasm, and of course, a healthy competitive spirit.
“It was great to get amongst the sports day with the kids at Cambridge Primary. Getting involved in the fun and games is quite different to what we normally do, so it was good to mix it up and show the kids how fun sport can be,” said Stewart.
The children will get the opportunity to watch the “big bike riders” in action in December, when an international field of top-class riders arrive in Cambridge to contest the UCI Track Cycling World Cup at the Avantidrome.
World championship bronze medallist Sexton is hoping for a repeat of the New Zealand team effort from the January event where sell-out crowds saw New Zealand win five gold and two bronze medals.
“January was so awesome, having the home crowd behind us just made it so special. The whole squad is buzzing for December and we hope that our visit today has inspired some of the kids at Cambridge Primary to come and watch us,” said Sexton.
“Hopefully some of them will take up cycling and we’ll see them on the track in years to come.”
The UCI Track Cycling World Cup is on at the Avantidrome from December 6-8. Tickets to the event can be purchased on the Ticketek website. For more information, visit www.trackworldcup.nz.