Level 3 BTEC Sport & Exercise Science Diploma students left Huddersfield New College on Tuesday 26th April for a day at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

At the centre, students were provided with the opportunity to ride on the velodrome circuit and on the indoor BMX track.

Before this, students took part in a beginners training course on the world renowned Velodrome circuit. Most importantly in this, they were shown how to stop, as circuit bikes don’t have brakes!

Once they knew their bikes, they were allowed onto the circuit. Starting on the lowest line, they gradually moved up the bank on the circuit, until they were as high as they wanted to go. A few of the students were brave enough to go right to the top of the bank, which has an incredibly steep 40 degree incline. Definitely not for the faint hearted!

After the exhausting velodrome session, the students were taken on the tour of the centre. This gave them a valuable insight into the performance research for, and training of, elite cyclists, which they can apply directly to their course.

In the closing part of the day, students got a crash course in BMX riding, and got to have a go on the BMX track. Again they showed no fear and were soon flying around the track, even using the ramp to start their laps. The ramp was a huge 5 metres tall!

It was a great day out for HNC sport students, who all expressed how much they had enjoyed the trip.

Farris Fenton, commented “The trip gave me the confidence to try something new and I now know that I can do new things, if I am prepared to give them a try. A lot of what we were told and did during the day links to what we are studying in the classroom, elite athletes.”

Emily Young agreed: “The day helped me to face my fears. It was a great group bonding trip and it made me much more aware of the commitment it takes to become an elite athlete.”

The HSBC UK National Cycling Centre in Manchester was Britain's first indoor Olympic cycling track, and since it opened in 1994, has become one of the World's finest and fastest board tracks. The track is in constant use seven days a week and is the busiest in the world. The BMX track is for riders new to the sport, existing riders and world class BMX athletes. The elite track begins with the only eight metre start hill in the UK and is 1 of only 2 indoor BMX tracks in the world.