IF THERE is one thing that Lorraine and Michael Kenny hate it’s pushy parents.

They know gentle encouragement and positive words win the day for youngsters.

And in their family’s case, not just the day. Their youngest son, Jason Kenny, is the triple gold medal-winning cyclist from the 2012 London Olympics who has enjoyed another golden triumph in this year’s Keirin track world championships.

But when you learn more about the Kenny family, such success seems almost logical.

“Seeing parents shouting at their children on the football field, for example, always upsets me,” said Lorraine, aged 49. “A parent telling a child that they’re ‘rubbish’ is awful. How can that possibly help them improve?”

This is just a reflection of one of the Kenny family values with which Jason, now aged 25, and his elder brother, Craig aged 28, grew up in a pleasant semi on a quiet Farnworth avenue.

The town was already home to Lorraine and Michael, both pupils at the old St Augustine’s School.

When they later married and moved into the house just around the corner from Lorraine’s parents, it was not only the most natural thing in the world but the start of an extended loving support system for both their children.

It is clear talking to Lorraine, a reception class primary school teacher in Wigan, and 51 year-old Michael, a structural engineer with Watson’s Steel at Lostock, that genuine values have always mattered in the Kenny household.

“We wanted to bring them up to be well-behaved but happy children, eating healthy things like fruit but also able to have treats when we went out,” said Lorraine.

One thing both parents felt very strongly about was that their children should have plenty of exercise, getting out in the fresh air.

“We’ve always felt that taking part in a sport keeps them off the streets and gives them something to share with friends,” added Lorraine. “And that’s important.”

In fact, the first time Jason got on a bike was when he was three when he pinched his brother’s tricycle.“Jason always thought he could do what Craig did — he taught himself to ride and because Craig had a two-wheel bike without stabilisers, Jason wanted to do that, too. I suppose his determination started early,” said Michael.

Both boys were keen on sports, trying the usual football, cricket and tennis among others. “Jason was actually a very good footballer,” said Lorraine. “He was goalkeeper for a boys’ team at Harper Green School.”

The Kenny boys also enjoyed other activities — Craig started Judo, Jason became interested in music and played keyboard and guitar.

Bikes figured early in their lives, though — the family went for day trips to Cleveleys where they cycled along the front, they always had bikes on holiday and Michael still cycles to and from work.

But it was pure chance that Jason and his brother were introduced to Manchester’s Velodrome when an uncle who had booked the venue for a cycling event had a couple of spare places.

“The boys were offered them, went along and enjoyed it,” said Michael. “Jason in particular showed real aptitude, and it just went on from there.”

Jason, being younger, was able to join the kids’ club at the Velodrome.

This later became the talent pool and then the Olympic development group as his burgeoning skills were gradually recognised.

“Jason was quite shy when he was younger but he became quietly confident,” said his mum.

“He always aimed to be better than the person immediately above him,” said Michael. “He didn’t do anything showy like going for the top one, but he quietly went up the ladder just picking off the opposition as he went. He is also a good loser — he likes to win but he’s a true sportsman.”

Jason was encouraged in his competitive cycling by staff at his school, Mount St Joseph’s, and, of course, by his loving family.

They have always been there for him, travelling to events around the world — a constant support.

He first made the cycling world sit up and take notice in 2006 at the Junior World Championships when he won gold in both the team and individual sprints, and later won the gold in the Keirin junior world championships.

It was, however, in 2008 that Jason burst onto the wider public’s consciousness when he was included in the British cycling team for the Beijing Olympics.

“He shouldn’t really have gone,” said Michael.”He was included very late but his form couldn’t be ignored. Then we had to rush about getting visas so we could go to China to watch him.”

And, against all the odds, Jason — definitely the new boy on the block of Olympic cycling — won a gold medal in the team sprint and a silver in the individuals. Suddenly, the world wanted to know about the boy from Farnworth, and Lorraine and Michael had a sporting superstar for a son.

Of course, none of this success comes without a tough training schedule and the next few years to the London Olympics proved Jason’s dedication.

“He is very disciplined,” said Lorraine. “When he comes to our house for lunch he won’t have a piece of cake — although he does love home-made chicken pie.”

The hard work certainly paid off at the 2012 Olympics — even if Lorraine could hardly bear to watch and actually missed Jason crossing the finish line first in the individual sprint.

“It was just too tense, I couldn’t watch — I put my hands over my eyes. Afterwards, Michael and I were both shaking because it was so amazing.”

Although Jason’s training schedule is not quite as intense following the Olympics and the Keirin earlier this year, his life is still dominated by cycling.

He has, though, more recently turned his attentions to another sport that has caused Lorraine to put her hands once more over her eyes: motor racing.

“Jason has been racing his Ginetta G40 sports car in special races with other similar cars,” said Michael. “They’re held at various race tracks so we’re off to Silverstone this week. It is nerve-wracking to watch, although we know he really enjoys it.”

So, what are his parents wishes for their sons in 10 years’ time?

“Like most parents, I suppose,” said Lorraine. “We want them both to be healthy and happy, and without any regrets about things they’ve not done. They’re our boys and we love them. Jason may be an Olympic champion but, first and foremost, he’s still our son.”