THE heroic efforts of gold medallist Jason Kenny are set to inspire a new generation after a Bolton cycling group was given £10,000 to hold Olympic-themed events.
Bolton Hot Wheels was one of 59 groups in the North West to receive funding from the National Lottery Awards For All Scheme.
The group started life in 2006 and has more than 300 members. It will use the money to buy bicycles, helmets and equipment to allow young people who do not own their own equipment to give the sport a try and get hooked on a healthy pursuit.
Sessions at the Manchester Velodrome, where medal-winning members of Team GB train, will also be booked.
The group is primarily for under-16s and sessions are run at Bolton Arena.
Club bosses hope the cash injection will allow even more borough youngsters to follow in the footsteps of Farnworth’s finest, Jason Kenny, who won two gold medals at last year’s London Olympics.
Club secretary Andrew Richardson said: “Our group was growing steadily, but things took off after the Olympics because of all the cycling around the Velodrome.
“Previously we weren’t able to provide equipment and, if you wanted to take part, you had to bring your own bike and helmet.
“If someone’s not sure they want to take it up, they might not be prepared to spend that money.
“But now we’ll be able to provide those bits of gear and more people can try it out.”
He said: “Jason Kenny is a local celebrity and he is an inspiration.
“At the reception for him after the Olympics at Bolton Town Hall, a big contingent from our group went and he came down to see us and sign autographs, which was really nice.”
Regional Big Lottery funding boss Helen Bullough said: “The Olympics was a hugely inspiring occasion and Team GB’s cyclists were incredible.
“It’s great to award funding to a project that will keep the momentum of interest going in Bolton.”