Former double Junior World Champion Danni Khan helps launch this year's Tommy Godwin Challenge cycling sportive - The Solihull Observer

Former double Junior World Champion Danni Khan helps launch this year's Tommy Godwin Challenge cycling sportive

Solihull Editorial 20th Jun, 2017   0

FORMER double junior world cycling champion Dannielle Khan is the ambassador for this year’s Tommy Godwin Challenge cycle sportive, which raises money for the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull in memory of Knowle’s Olympic medal-winning cyclist.

Solihull cyclist Danni – who was a double junior world champion in 2013, taking the gold medal in both the 500m time-trial and the sprint, and securing a silver medal in the keirin – is a member of the British Cycling Olympic Podium Programme and also rides for Team Storey.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s Tomm Godwin Challenge she said she was honoured to be the ambassador of this hugely popular cycling challenge.

“I was lucky enough to meet Tommy and he was a great inspiration to me,” she added.

Now in its fifth year, the Tommy Godwin Challenge will take place on Sunday, September 24 and is hoping to match last year’s fantastic turnout, which raised over £18,000 for the Marie Curie Hospice.

The event has raised £40,000 in its first four years.

This year’s challenge will see the addition of a 70k route to accompany the 100k and 30k routes – all starting and finishing at the Marie Curie Hospice on Marsh Lane in Solihull.

Speaking to The Observer, Tommy’s daughter Kay said her dad – who won two bronze medals at the 1948 Olympic Games in London – would be thrilled with the continued success of the event.

“The Tommy Godwin Challenge has become a really popular and hugeley successful event – dad would have been so proud,” she added.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported and helped us from the very beginning.

“Also, a massive thank you to all the riders and their sponsors who have helped us raise such a fabulous amount of money for the wonderful Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull.

“Here’s to many more fabulous years of riding and fundraising.”

Encouraging more young people to get involved is a key focus of this year’s sportive – the call being made by Jefferson and Marijke Verweij-Tear, young cyclists who rode last year and Toby Green – the newly-elected Tommy Godwin Ambassador at Arden Academy in Knowle.

Mechanical support and refreshments will be available at the start of the race at the hospice and also at Great Alne Village Hall along the route, where toilets are also available.

For more information, to enter, or to offer support, go to:

The 100k and 70k Sportives start at 9.30am and the 30k family ride starts at 10.30am.

Registration will open at 8.30am.

A Brief History of Olympic Medallist Tommy Godwin:

Tommy’s first bicycle was a Wrenson’s (a grocers) delivery bike and he soon discovered he could ride and deliver eggs and bacon faster than anyone else.

His interest in and inspiration for competitive cycling came from watching the 1936 Olympic games.

Three years later he began racing and rode the fastest 1000m of the season.

Working as an electrician for BSA meant that he was exempt from call up to the army and so could continue racing in the many hard track and grass track events in the Midlands

The end of the war meant more sporting opportunities in Britain.

Tommy was training hard during this time, which helped him qualify first for international selection and eventually the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

Tommy’s career highlight came at these Games when, at the age of 27, he won two Olympic bronze cycling medals; the Men’s 1,000m time trial and Team Pursuit. He also went on to win a bronze medal at the 1950 British Empire Games held in Auckland, New Zealand (now called the Commonwealth Games).

Following his competitive career Tommy ran his own cycle shop in Kings Heath and started coaching local riders.

Eventually this lead to him taking on the role of the first ever paid national coach and the prestigious role of manager of the British Cycle Team at the 1964 Tokyo Games.

He later became Chairman of the Racing Committee.

As Britain’s first paid national cycling coach he helped train a new generation of British track riders, many of whom went onto win national and international titles and medals.

In retirement Tommy was as enthusiastic and motivating as ever, relishing every opportunity to inspire others and share his passion for sport.

He was very proud of his role as a Loughborough Flames ambassador.

This project went on to win the Podium Coubertin Olympic Vision award.

Tommy also enjoyed speaking to children and young people about his experiences in the build up to London 2012, for which he was an official ambassador.


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