By Grant “Chopper” Fielder
It all started quite innocently. My girlfriend works at a local school, and one day asked me if I was interested in coming in and speaking to the kids about my riding. I gave it a go because I thought it would be fun. The kids loved it. That was just a year or so ago, now it’s become huge.
I contacted the main school fundraising team and they made me wait on the phone whilst they Googled me. Some sweet pictures came up and straight away I had dates. The reason for the trips to schools is to get kids motivated for the 2012 London Olympics. All schools are focusing big time on sports, including mountain biking. That’s where I come in.
Today, I’m part of one of the most successful sport for school fundraising programs in the UK. Called Super Schools www.superschools.co.uk, the program consists of some of Britain’s most successful athletes, like Sharron Davies, Kelly Holmes, and Jamie Baulch. I’m the guy responsible for getting the kids out on there bikes. Schools are desperate to give children the opportunity to do what they want in school sports, and also after school clubs elsewhere. The extreme side of sports has definitely gained traction in this regard, especially mountain biking. The talks and demonstrations I do are more about inspiring kids to get out there and do something they love. So I talk to the kids about how I got where I am today, the style of riding I do, keeping fit, places I’ve travelled and the bikes I ride.
I have been to many schools now and every single one has said this is the greatest talk they’ve had as the kids are so drawn into what I do. I guess hitting jumps is cooler than running around a track. Go figure. I visit two schools in one day, with Super Schools spreading my word to over 600-700 kids per school. 50 dates is my target per year. Do the math!
Besides Superschools I am also doing this alone in schools near to me in the New Forset. Check out: www.grantfielder.co.uk