Below is an article written by Jackie Aplin from 'Lottery Good Causes' who with kind permission allowed Towy Riders to include an account of their day with Helen Jenkins on our website.
Enjoy... The National Lottery celebrated its investment in sport today by surprising budding young cyclists in Carmarthen with a visit from triathlete Helen Jenkins.The National Lottery funded two-times World Champion dropped in on the Velodrome, Carmarthen Park, where youngsters from the Towy Riders Cycling club were practicing. Towy Riders have used £2,091 of National Lottery funding through Sport Wales to provide coaching and first aid training, creating opportunities for young people to take part in sport.Helen Jenkins, who lives and trains in Bridgend, met the youngsters and shared her own sporting story with them.She said: “I have really enjoyed the visit. It is great to see so many young people who have been inspired by London 2012 and are so enthusiastic about cycling and other sport. The National Lottery has supported me throughout my career and is also funding grassroots sports clubs like this which give young people the chance to develop their sporting potential.“Inspiring the next generation and investing in our future stars from an early age is really important. National Lottery players should feel proud that they are making such a difference to sport in this country.”Sport in Wales has received over £179m of National Lottery funding.Carwyn Young, senior regional officer at Sport Wales, said: “Towy Riders are just one example of clubs and teams around Wales helping young people discover new sports in a friendly environment, and helping them to excel.“It is important that we can support people to take part in sport and exercise – whether they are just starting out and trying sport for the first time, or they are rising through the competitive ranks and making an impact on the elite level.“That is the great thing about National Lottery funding, because it makes an impact at the grassroots and the very top level of sport.”Towy Riders’ youth activities include teaching basic cycling skills, racing fixed and free wheel bikes on the track, circuit racing, cyclo-cross and mountain biking, with parents and children enjoying the challenge of riding off road in the Brechfa Forest. Club members compete throughout the UK and beyond.The club was set up six years ago and already has over 150 members. It helps young people develop cycling skills in a safe traffic-free environment with British Cycling trained coaches. It is one of just three Welsh accredited Go Ride clubsCliff Grout of Towy Riders said: “It was an honour to see what Helen has achieved, and how she has persevered through injury. Britain is riding high at cycling, but it’s also about families having fun and getting healthy together. It’s about developing our young people and helping them achieve their potential.”Helen is one of over 1,300 National Lottery funded elite athletes. The funding allows her to compete and train full time to the highest international standards. The National Lottery invested up to £2.2 billion in London 2012, allowing our athletes, venues and volunteers to shine on the world stage. It is continuing to invest in sport at all levels, supporting the next generation of Olympians and grassroots sports projects around the country.