Norwich City Cancels Junior Bike Event

On 31 August 2011, British Cycling officer Sara Flatt had the great sadness to report that a junior bike race at County Hall Norwich has been cancelled:

Unfortunately, I have to cancel the next round of the race series due to be held on Sunday 11th September.

Prior to agreeing the dates for the series we checked Norwich City fixture list to ensure there were no date clashes - the car park is used for parking on match days.

However, Sky TV are now televising the match originally planned for Saturday the 10th and have re-scheduled it to Sunday 11th. The car park will be in use from 10.30am and regrettably we have no option but to cancel our racing.

This simply means that Norfolk County Council and Norwich City FC put the interests of a few car drivers above those of young riders who enjoy taking part in sports. I decided to complain to Norwich City, with this email:

Subject: No support for grass-roots cycling

To whom it may concern,

I've been told that one of the circuit race events at the County Hall car park, on 11 September, has been cancelled because it is needed for a revised Norwich City game. This event is part of a series designed specifically for juniors and novice adults, so I find it very disappointing that the Norwich City football club is choosing to stop these people enjoying their sport.

Presumably it's a case of big-leaguers being keen to push their weight around where-ever possible.

Well, it is now 10 September, and here is the reply:


That's it, nothing. Not only are the football club happy to trample on other sports, they don't even have the decency to respond to criticism. What a pathetic bunch of people they must be.


by Chris on 23 October 2011
Your complaint should not be with NCFC - the evil money grabbing corporation that is Sky dictates when matches are to be played. This happens all the way down the professional footballing ladder and there is nothing a club can do about it.

This was inevitably going to happen - we have been using it on a Sunday for two months, yet I can recall parking at County Hall for football matches 20 years ago when I was a child. Get over it...I did.

by John Swindells on 23 October 2011
You raise a fair point about Sky, who is ironically the big name in British cycling at the moment.

The cancellation wasn't important in the grand scheme of things, but at the time it was frustrating how a grass roots events was shoved out of the way, just for a bit of parking space, and then I didn't get any reply. I'm over it already :)

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My name is John Swindells and I'm a keen recreational cyclist with a preference for long one-day rides. I've also previously dabbled in time trialling and cyclo-cross. See more of what I get up to on Strava!

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