School’s motto of “push yourself and have a go” shines through at annual junior hill climb

Sarah Pearman during the junior hill climb

Sarah Pearman during the junior hill climb - Credit: Contributed

Ottery St Mary Friends of Phyllis Baxter Action Group in collaboration with David Goldthorpe and Sarah Pearman.

Phyllis Baxter dressed in red sat at her desk with a pen, book and other office equipment

Phyllis Baxter had a dream to write a book and launch a website about Ottery - Credit: Phyllis Baxter

We have said it before and we say it again, the legacy of the Tour of Britain coming to Ottery has given birth to many cycling events in Ottery and one of those is the Annual Ottery Primary School Junior Hill Climb that took place for the 4th time this year on Tuesday, June 7, at the school grounds. So, let us hear how it all went from the organiser of the event David Goldthorpe.

“Managing to avoid the rain this year the annual event got to a great start. Children from the ages of four up to 11 faced up to the challenge of cycling from our bottom field up to the lower playground. It was enjoyed by children from previous years.”

“Held as a Housepoint event, Mr Pike set the target as usual with a time of 19.76 seconds. A little slower than last year but time waits for no one.

Five year old Holly T then set the benchmark with a time of 44.87 seconds as one by one the children, cheered on by family and friends, set off up the hill.

“With the school motto of "push yourself and have a go" shining through, everyone made it up the climb.

"A special mention to Zac and Ozzy's dad who had the misfortune of having to assist twice in a row, the joys of twins I guess.

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“Sam C, looking very professional in his pro cycling top, and Evie L, in her specially dressed parrot helmet this year, powered their way up the hill”.

“This years’ winning House was Salston. The quickest time was set by Rowan N with 20.76 seconds, fastest lady was Annabelle L with 21.94 seconds, and in Key stage 1, Sam C was fastest in a time of 28.96 seconds, and the quickest young lady was Rhiannan D with 38.73 seconds”.

“What was fantastic was everyone cheering on and encouraging each other in true sportsman-like style."

David added the following message to all those involved: “A special thanks to Mr Pike and Mrs Pearman from the school for their continued support and Dennis, Tom and Lewis for their help running the event.

"Also thanks for the prizes for everyone kindly donated by Ian Holmes and our sponsors, Richard Mardle and George Gori, from Saddleback cycling."

“Finally thanks to the children who make this event a fun time for all. Well done everyone. See you next year."

Later on we spoke to George Gori, part of the National trials team in 1997-1999, who raced for Tor 2000 and now for Sigma Sports Cannondale on road and mountain bikes.

The main sponsor of the event right from its beginnings, we asked him the reasons for his enthusiastic support.

George said, “I think sport is such a brilliant foundation for life, it teaches you how to accept and deal with defeat, and makes you realise that when everything goes wrong, it’s still possible to succeed again.

"Sport teaches you that failure isn’t embarrassing and there is only ever one winner. Making a mistake or not winning on that occasion, you are still in the majority amongst your fellow athletes.”

Then he added, “I was once talking to a tenpin bowling champion, and she said to me, ‘the fun is within the competition.

"You must be ready to give it all in order to win, even though you know you can lose. The important thing is to know at the end that you gave it all, and to the best of your abilities’.

"To me that proves that the principles ruling competition are the same. It does not matter if you are a bike rider or a table tennis player, and it can be applied to anything you do in life.

"It is the reason I support cycling at such an early age, and why I believe that sport is such a foundation for life.”

The school would additionally like to extend a huge thank you to David Goldthorpe for organising this event for them.

We at the Friends of Phyllis Baxter Group would also like to thank all those involved, but mostly thank the wonderful children and future Tour of Britain champions who make this event so special.

They know the school motto might come handy many times in their future life, either as a student, a professional, or a sports person. Well done everyone.