Club News: Halesowen A&CC Academy


Wenlock Spring to sponsor Halesowen Athletic and Cycling Club for 2016 – great news for the Academy riders

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Club News: Halesowen A&CC Academy

Aspiring young cyclists always keep their eyes on the scales, but Halesowen Athletic and Cycling Club’s six academy riders will have additional reason to do so in 2016. They have each secured sponsorship from Shropshire bottled water company Wenlock Spring, which will see each of them receive their weight in bottles of mineral water.

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HALESOWEN A&CC Academy presented by Wenlock Spring: Oliver Dighton, Patrick Fotheringham, Jo Hobbs, Jack Stanton-Warren, Tom Swingler, Charles Walker.

The partnership for 2016 covers both sponsorship of the Halesowen A&CC academy, consisting of six promising young West Midlands cyclists, and the Halesowen A&CC Friday Night track league at the cycling club’s Manor Abbey Stadium.

The HA & CC Chair Dave Viner hailed the move as, “a massive step forward for our cycling club.” He said: “This is an massive statement of faith from a major West Midlands Company in our young rider development programme and in the efforts we make to organise races in our area. We have a long and proud history of developing talented young cyclists, both male and female, and Wenlock Spring’s support will enable us to build on that.”

Wenlock Spring’s Matthew Orme added, “We are delighted to be supporting Halesowen Athletic and Cycling Club. The academy offers young people a fantastic opportunity, producing bike riders who have gone on to race both nationally and internationally. We shall be keeping riders hydrated throughout 2016 and look forward to a fantastic year ahead!”


Wenlock Spring’s backing for 2016 comes on the back of a successful 2015 for the HA&CC Academy, supported by a range of cycle kit makers including Stoke’s ProVision clothing company and the multiple Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy’s bike brand. Last year long-standing Halesowen members Charles Walker and Patrick Fotheringham raced strongly through their second season in the junior ranks while new recruit Jack Stanton-Warren, aged 20, made a strong transition to national-level racing in only his second year of serious competition.

Walker, Fotheringham and Stanton-Warren remain with the academy for 2016, and are joined by first-year junior Oliver Dighton and seniors Tom Swingler and Jo Hobbs. All six will receive their respective weights in bottles of Wenlock Spring, which is based at Wolverton in Shropshire; while additional backing comes from returning suppliers ProVision clothing and OTE Sports Nutrition plus Mark Warren coaching.



In addition, riders at the Halesowen Track League, which runs from May 6 to September 2, will be supplied with bottles of Wenlock Spring water at the start of each night’s racing.

Wenlock Spring is a family business – based at Wolverton, near Church Stretton. It sources its water – and its name – from a spring which dates back to the 11th century, situated on the stunning Wenlock Edge. Their story began just over a quarter of a century ago, simply as an idea for diversification. Today the name Wenlock Spring is synonymous with premium quality – and fine dining. Wenlock Spring is also a staunch supporter of many charities – local, national and international – and an avid messenger on the importance of drinking water, particularly for children.

The beginning ….
“We began this project last year to encourage our up and coming young riders to stay within the club structure, meaning they have that behind them at a time when they need probably the most support at any time in their cycling careers, so getting this backing for year two is really helpful and means we can support greater numbers,” said Halesowen club committee member William Fotheringham. “The idea is that these guys will end up as the apex of the coaching pyramid within the club, acting as role models for our youth riders as they come through the ranks.”

Currently, there are four former Halesowen members in GB colours: sprinter Jess Varnish, endurance track riders Emily Kay and Emily Nelson and paralympic pilot Helen Scott, while Beth Crumpton has been flying the national flag off-road in recent years. Among the men, current PedalHeaven member Jacob Tipper and Zappi’s road captain Callum Ferguson have come up through the club’s coaching system to the elite ranks.



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