Last weekend British Cycling hosted an event to celebrate the graduation of our esteemed 2022 Total Scholar cohort at the National Cycling Centre.

To start things off, Jo Howson initiated a reflective activity encouraging scholars to record short videos that captured their accomplishments and most memorable moments from their scholarships. Richard Cheetham MBE then took to the stage sharing a TED talk clip centered on ‘lollipop moments’ - instances where one significantly influences another's life, often unnoticed. Richard emphasised that each scholar present had likely created such a moment during the scholarship, whether consciously recognised or not. Reflecting on his mentorship with some scholars, he illustrated the tangible impact of the program on those he closely advised.

Three scholars, Asma, Tom, and Megan shared their inspiring stories with the group: 

  • Asma shared a poignant narrative about her late father, who ignited her passion for cycling during her formative years. She expressed a heartfelt wish that he could witness her remarkable progress, reflecting on her initial sense of apprehension when she embarked on the scholarship journey two years ago. At that time, she felt her knowledge paled in comparison to her peers', particularly as cycling wasn't widely embraced in her community.
  • Tom openly shared that prior to starting the scholarship, his life lacked clear direction. He recounted the serendipitous nature of how the opportunity presented itself, humorously revealing that he submitted his application video enroute to a Halloween party. To his pleasant surprise, he was accepted. It was truly inspiring to learn how the scholarship has profoundly transformed his life, instilling in him a renewed sense of purpose and direction. Moreover, he spoke warmly of the genuine and lifelong bonds forged with fellow scholars along the way.
  • Megan highlighted her daily routine of envisioning three key elements: something to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase. She used these prompts to summarise her time on the scholarship. She reflected on her scholarship journey, expressing gratitude to fellow scholars, mentors, and sponsors like British Cycling and Total Computers for giving her something to look up to. She eagerly looks forward to time with her family, acknowledging their sacrifices as the driving force behind her pursuit of education at Loughborough University and therefore the coaching scholarship. She emphasised her ultimate goal of chasing her future self, envisioning a ten-year version committed to realising dreams and making a meaningful impact, leaving everyone in the room inspired.

In preparation of her speech, Megan asked her fellow scholars to encapsulate the significance of the scholarship in a single word. She then compiled all the words into a unified quote and requested that each scholar stand when their word was mentioned:

“This experience has been life-changing. Each and every one of us has been afforded world-class opportunitiesRewarding opportunities that have fostered educationfulfillment, and enrichment. Alongside offering new experiences, this programme has connected us, provided unwavering support, and has been a cornerstone of achievement. It has allowed us to build more than a network, we have all become friends for life.”

The event wrapped up with some celebratory food, and the graduates eagerly made their way to the velodrome for the evening session of the National Track Championships. Adding to the excitement, they had the opportunity to cheer on their friend Henry whilst he claimed bronze! 

It was an extraordinary day, commemorating the accomplishments of these gifted individuals, all made possible through the support of Total Computers.