Sporting in Staffordshire

A big congratulations to everyone who took part in the IRONMAN 70.3 Staffordshire on Sunday in what was an amazing day and huge success.  The day started with the swim at Chasewater at 7am and then on to the bike ride and finally the run around the Shugborough Estate, with the weather holding up nicely for the 2,000 plus competitors.

It was great to welcome World Champion Javier Gomez who won the overall race, Lucy Gossage who won the women’s race and not to forget celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tanya, competing together as part of their GR100 fundraising team.

We were delighted to be able to host the event which gave us a great opportunity to showcase to people what a great county Staffordshire really is.  A big thanks also to everyone who came out to cheer on the athletes, the staff and all the volunteers who helped make it a real success.  I’m sure people are already looking forward to next year’s event.

If Sunday’s IRONMAN event has inspired people to get more active then national Bike Week may help provide that extra bit of motivation and information to get out and about on your bike.  The campaign running this week wants to see more people on their bikes cycling for work and leisure.  There has never been a better time to dust off the saddle and with the good weather here, I’d encourage people to get out and about to explore our great county on a bike.

Bike week also comes as the county prepares for the third Staffordshire Cycling Festival and news that ‘Team Wiggins, the team of the 2012 Tour de France Champion’ are coming to Stafford. The team will join over 100 professional cyclists when they take to the county’s roads for the competition on 3 and 4 July.  Staged across Stafford Town Centre and the Shugborough Estate, the action packed weekend is a celebration of cycling featuring both professional races and opportunities for everyone to get involved. New for the Friday, in Stafford Town Centre is Free-Ride Friday. This is the opportunity for families and individuals to ride the Stafford GP circuit.  For more details on the event visit: www.ridestaffs.co.uk

This week is also the start of Adult Learners Week when thousands of Staffordshire residents will celebrate their success in learning while encouraging others to do the same.  Over the last 12 months almost 14,000 county residents have taken courses designed to either help people improve their job prospects, help them  take the first steps back into education, to improve the English of those recently arrived from overseas, or to simply build confidence.

For some people these are often basic qualifications that allow them to take the next step towards getting a recognised qualification or further learning and skills they need for the job they want.  There are lots of events taking place in the county’s libraries and full details can be found at http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/leisure/librariesnew/Adultlearnersweek.aspx .

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