Sunday 29th of March – Vale of Belvoir audax 2011k ride.
I set off from the start in Lichfield and headed off towards fradley. It was a windy day and had started to rain. The early stages of the ride was pleasant despite the weather and the scenery was really amazing. Everything was going well until I tried to reach the first check Point. I rode left at the last junction instead of right, when I realised my error, I had to speed on to make the check Point before it closed. This made the next 40 miles more of a catching up with lost time excerise than a steady paced ride. When I reached the halfway point, I reached the check Point a few minutes ahead of my planned schedule, and after a quick bite to eat and a hot drink, I was off towards Loughborough. By now the rain was torrential and was to be that way for many miles, the open fields of the surrounding countryside offered no shelter from the battering I was getting from mother nature. I eventually got to Loughborough barely an hour ahead of plan. From Loughborough I was heading for Lichfield and the finish, the hills out of Loughborough were gruelling, we had many hills along the way but now these hills felt steeper (unless I was getting more tired). The last 30 miles seemed to drag out longer than expected, my pace had dropped and so had my enthusiasm, eventually the dark of the night had swept over me and visibility was low but this helped in a way as I wanted to get home as quickly as possible and so my speed began to pick up again. I reached the finish in Lichfield at 8.25 pm, that’s almost 12 and a half hours of riding, but my first qualifier in the bag.
Just had my information for my next qualifying event in Essex, a 305km ride that starts at midnight and finishes at around 8pm on the 11th of April. This will be the second of four qualifying events for the pbp challenge in France.
After five years at Abbey Park ground, Sporting Khalsa announced in May 2010 that they would be purchasing the five acre freehold grounds of Willenhall Town FC from the Receivers. After extensive work on the pitch and social facilities with the total outlay of over half million pounds the stadium was finished on the eve of the 2010/11 season. In its first season at their new Aspray Arena home the club gained promotion to the Premier Division of the West Midlands Regional League.
The club currently holds the prestigious FA Community Club Charter Standard status.
The club aims to help tackle social exclusion, and provide football opportunities for all members of the community. Sporting Khalsa aims to use “the power of sport” to contribute to the tackling of social exclusion. Sport belongs to, and should be enjoyed by, everyone equally. Our commitment is to eliminate discrimination whether by reason of gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, religion or ability and to encourage equal opportunities and to enable and provide access to a range of sports for all members of the community, regardless of age, gender, ability, race
or religion. The main current activity the club participates in is football but, it also runs varies other sports club like badminton, tennis, ski, bhangra and keep fit clubs.
More recently Sporting Khalsa showcased their medium to long term plans for Aspray Arena and the community. A meeting of invited guests which included West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner Bob Jones, Chief Inspector Sue Parker, Asst Chief Constable Marcus Beale, Stuart Laight MD of Aspray 24, Brian Adshead Chief Executive of Staffordshire FA, George Berry from the Professional Footballers Association, councillers, local business leaders and club members.
After weeks of work and more than 65 entries, they have been shortlisted to 6, which will go to a public vote to create an official flag for the Willenhall.
The 69 entries were judged anonymously and shortlisted by a panel of judges, including representatives from Poundland, WH Tildesley, Willenhall History Society, The Local History Centre- Walsall, WTFC, Councillor Ian Shires and Les Burrows
The winning design will be revealed and launched at this years Willenhall Carnival, June 14th.
A total of 69 entries were made in the competition with contributions coming in from local schools as well as folks of Willenhall and further afield.
Members of the public are now being asked to cast their vote for what they would like to see as their Willenhall Flag. There is a deadline of April 26th to make the all-important votes either in public via the posting stations or online and via our Facebook group (see links)
A few words from some of the judges –
Philip Tibbetts, Communities Vexillologist, Flag Institute
Advisor, Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee said “On behalf of the Flag Institute I have to commend the Willenhall flag competition for the passionate and dedicated way in which it has been run. Including the anonymous way in which we and the other judges selected the finalists. The proof of the quality of this competition has been proved through the finalists themselves which would all make bold and attractive flags. Indeed in working up the finalists to registration standard artwork we have had to make very little in the way of edits, only a matter of simplification in a couple of cases”.
Pavan Riyat-Ward, Marketing Controller representing Poundland said. “It was a challenge to get down to a short-list of six designs given the number and quality of entries that we were asked to choose from – a great effort from the people of Willenhall. It’s now down to the public to pick a winner from the six stunning designs that we felt best represented Willenhall.
Ruth Vyse said ‘She was very pleased that Walsall Local History Centre had been asked to supply a judge for the Willenhall flag competition. She thought that the number and quality of the entries was excellent. They reflected the importance of lock making in Willenhall’s history and represented that very imaginatively.’
Simon Hall, Chair at Willenhall Town FC said “we are delighted to be involved in such an innovative project and have been really impressed by the standard of entries into the competition. Now the public will vote and it’s sure to be a close competition given the high standard of work and creativity! Well done to everyone who has got this far! We’re looking forward to seeing the winning flag flying around the town and at our ground”
Ralph Jackson representing Willenhall History Society said. “We were pleased to be asked to be a selection judge. I think there was a good response with 67 odd flag designs. We did our best to shortlist them and what we thought were the best and now it is up to the rest of Willenhall to make their choice for the flag of Willenhall.
Look forward to seeing the winner.
The winning flag will be added to the Flag Institute’s UK Flag Registry.
The finalists are
Mr A Leonard
Mrs K Plant
Mr A Khan
Mr M Hayden
Mr J Wood
Mr S Cattell
Work has started this week on creating a £160,000 skate park at the Green Flag Award-winning Willenhall Memorial Park.
Walsall Council Coalition agreed to invest cash from the sale of Willenhall Leisure Centre into the new skate park, which will form part of a larger improvement programme there.
Councillor Anthony Harris, portfolio holder for leisure and culture with Walsall Council Coalition, said: “It’s great to see contractors on site as they work towards installing this new feature.
“I’m sure the young people of Willenhall who have played such a major role in getting this project off the ground can’t wait to see the results and I thanks them for their patience as this project takes shape.
“I would also like to thank them once again for their enthusiasm, feedback and ideas as well as the Friends of Willenhall Memorial Park group for its support to bring about improvements for our communities.”