HILLINGDON Slipstreamers youth cycling club narrowly missed out on both prizes for which they were nominated at the London Awards for Sport and Physical Activity on Wednesday night.
The Slipstreamers were nominated for Club of the Year, while their coach, John Gunn, was up for Coach of the Year but were beaten by London City Runners and Chris Facey (head coach at Newham All Sports Academy) respectively.
In total, 10 awards were handed out at the ceremony which, fittingly for the club, was held at the Lee Valley Velopark, formerly the London 2012 Olympic velodrome.
Club vice-chairman and coach of the year nominee John Gunn said: “We had a wonderful evening. It was as good a setting as we could have as cycling club volunteers.
“It was great to have the recognition for the riders, club and volunteers.”
With cycling going from strength to strength nationally, thanks in no small part to the success of London 2012 and the successes of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in the Tour de France, the Hillingdon club have enjoyed an influx of members.
The club currently have 275 members and are on target to match the 365 strong from last year. They welcome youngsters up to 16.
Mr Gunn, who won Children’s Coach of the Year at the Gillette UK Coaching Awards in 2013, said: “The organisation and administration takes a massive effort from some 70 volunteers, including 37 British Cycling-approved coaches.
“Our members are riding and winning in road, track, mountain bike and cyclo-cross events all over the country. They make us all very proud of the club and its achievements.
“Many of our volunteers are riders who, have come through the club and then gone on to take Level one and two coaching courses or joined British Cycling's Young Volunteers scheme.”
This reinvestment, where the youngsters learn before coaching themselves, is a major part of the club’s long-term goal.