Thursday, 9 August 2012

Yorkshire Gold

“There must be something in the water, that and the Yorkshire pride”
- Mick Hill, Jessica Ennis's javelin coach -

Our fancy was tickled this week - along with many other people’s, judging by the tongue-in-cheek chatter online - by a comment made by Yorkshire Radio reporter Jonathan Buchan, ahead of heptathlete Jessica Ennis’s Olympic victory on Saturday.

Jonathan said on Twitter that if Yorkshire were a country it would currently be 11th in the medal table.

This was all down to the number of Olympic competitors from Team GB who actually hail from our region.

This fun stat – at that time Yorkshire athletes had achieved four golds, two silvers and three bronzes - placed us above the likes of Australia on the virtual chart!

Medallists include rower Andrew Triggs-Hodge, raised in Hebden right here in the National Park, and Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, triathlon champ and bronze medallist respectively, from Leeds.
Bradford-based climber John Dunne
at Malham Cove

In The Guardian newspaper, the Brownlee brothers credited the natural training ground of the Yorkshire Dales as one of the reasons for their burgeoning success, and raved about their outdoor gym on Chris Evan’s BBC Radio 2 breakfast show. We hope to see them running on the fells again soon. 

We had a great live chat with local legend, climber John Dunne on Twitter last Friday as part of National Parks Week 2012. John has been our sporting ambassador for this year’s celebration of Britain’s beautiful winning landscapes and was there to answer all your questions. 

He told us his most thrilling climb was being the first to free-scale Malham Cove – ‘pretty special’. And his most useful bit of kit? Well, a flask of Yorkshire tea was right up there along with good rock shoes!

And we’ve a few ‘champions’ amongst our very own team. Cathy Bradley – Access Technician and fell runner – blogged earlier this month about how training here exhilarates and inspires her, while Recreation and Tourism Manager Mark Allum described how he prepared for a recent cycling trip to the Pyrenees in his beloved Dales hills. Click on the links on the right to read their experiences.

National Parks were created for the fantastic health and recreational opportunities they offer so it’s no wonder they are being used to such success as a green gym.

With summer finally arrived, now is the time to take in a few gulps of Yorkshire’s award-winning, champion-building air. We’ve got loads of ideas for getting active whether hiking, horseriding, climbing or caving is your thing.

The glorious 52 mile Yorkshire Dales National Park section of the Pennine Bridleway - the first National Trail designed specifically for cyclists, horseriders and walkers - opened this summer so be among the first to try it out. And for a breather you could take in the ‘Sporting Spirit’ exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes - which we’re excited to learn features the Olympic torch carried at Aysgarth Falls. It runs until 4 September.

The gold post box honouring Andy Triggs-Hodge's
Olympic win in his place of birth, Hebden in Wharfedale
In the meantime look out for this freshly painted golden post box in the lovely village of Hebden in Wharfedale when you are next out and about. This is where Men's Coxless Four Rowing gold medal winner Andrew Triggs-Hodge grew up. Well done, Andy, you did us all proud!

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