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cyclogocolour2Youngsters with dreams of tearing up the track represented Great Britain at one of the largest motorcross beach races in Europe.

Young bike enthusiasts from Medway competed in the Endurole du Touquest in France on 8 and 9 February – their first ever endurance race lasting a gruelling one and a half hours.

Riders Patrick O’Neil, 16, from Strood and Jordan Chapman, 15, from Chattenden came in 37th and 93rd place out of 150 riders.

The talented teens were supported by a trio of mechanics, Jack Staples, 18, from Chatham and Stuart Galloway, 18 and Charlie Knight, 16, from Gillingham, who managed the pit stop and kept the bikes in top condition.

The boys were able to take part in such a prestigious race as part of Cyber Youth Connect (CYC) Youth Project, lead by Medway Council and funded by Interreg.

The project works in conjunction with partners in France promoting English and French unity, and gives young people oppotunities to develop their skills and talents.

Not only did the youngsters have a great time on their racing trip, it also provided them with a platform to put their newly learnt skills from the CYC programme into practice.

Patrick said: “I’ve learnt different techniques, the way to move around the bike in the sand and how to perform and different ways to ride the bike. Because there are no sand tracks over here that’s why everyone goes to Dunkirk – it’s so hard and different out there.

“Without CYC I would have never had the opportunity to do this so I am so grateful to everyone involved in making this happen.”

Jordan never thought he would have an opportunity to take part in such an event. He said: “Motor cross is something that I really enjoy doing, it’s been in my head ever since my dad bought me my first bike with I was two and a half.

“I have really enjoyed this experience and to get the chance to represent Medway in this race is something I could never have dreamt of.”

Since being selected for the race in August last year, the team prepared for the big event with Dover based motocross project MXCP, riding 125cc Suzuki bikes.

Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “It is wonderful that teenagers from Medway were able to take part in a big competition like this abroad, alongside other young people engaged in similar programmes to CYC.

“The CYC Youth Project can offer up some great opportunities to our young people.”

Youngsters who would like to get involved with the CYC project can still do so as a variety of courses will be running until March 2015.

CYC gives 11 to 19-year-olds an opportunity to gain skills and experience in music, cookery, motorbike mechanics and safe riding, as well as media including filming and photography.

To find out more and sign up visit www.medway.gov.uk/cyc or call 01634 332286

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TO COMMEMORATE THIS YEAR’S WW1 CENTENARY PENSHURST PLACE AND GARDENS IS KICKING OFF A ‘SIR AND SOLDIER’ THEME FOR 2014 WHEN THE HOUSE AND GROUNDS OPENS FOR THE SEASON ON 15TH FEBRUARY.

The historic Kent venue will be running war-themed activities for visitors throughout the year, starting this month during half-term with a couple of fun children events designed to help young visitors experience life as a soldier.

SECRET SPY HUNT: 15TH – 23RD FEBRUARY (10.30 AM TO DUSK)

Reconnaissance soldiers are needed in Penshurst. Their mission: to transform into a WWI spy to help save Penshurst Place from enemy invasion. The soldier spies will need cunning skills to hunt down and solve war-themed secret clues to find ten missing objects that are hidden around the gardens and adventure playground.

This fun children’s trail is included within the admission fee and will be running throughout the half-term school holiday from 15th – 23rd February 2014 from 10.30am – dusk. Normal garden admission prices apply

For more information http://www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

WAR WOUNDS MAKE-UP WORKSHOP: 19TH FEBRUARY (4PM TO 6PM)

penshurst

war wounds make upworld war oneThe Porcupine Pantry at Penshurst Place will be transformed into a WWI wounds clinic on Wednesday 19th February between 4pm and 6pm when award-winning special effect artist Kate Griffiths runs a ‘War Wounds’ make-up workshop.

Designed by Kate especially for Penshurst Place, the event will show older children (age 7+) how to create fake wounds using everyday household materials and how to bandage their injuries in the same way as they would have been during WW1.

Tickets £10 (For children aged 7+)
www.penshurstplace.com/etickets

Selected upcoming March highlights at Penshurst Place & Gardens include Mothering Sunday family activities with special lunch menu on 30th March; an adult Spring Stroll and Lunch on 16th March and spring bulbs and blossom displays in the gardens.

SPRING STROLL & LUNCH – ADULT EVENT: 16TH MARCH

Dust off your walking boots for a leisurely two hour stroll and reap a tasty reward for your physical exertion. A brand new walking event for adults to enjoy at Penshurst Place & Gardens on 16th March between 11am and 2pm. Journey across the beautiful estate and learn about its Tudor history on the way. This special Sunday walk is led by Penshurst Place’s General Manager and is followed by a delicious two-course roast lunch in the Garden Restaurant. Tickets £22 (to include private parking, guided walk, lunch and garden admission) www.penshurstplace.com/etickets

THE GREAT ARMADA ADVENTURE: 22ND & 23RD MARCH (12 NOON TO 4PM)

Experience life at Penshurst Place as the militia prepares to ward off the Spanish Armada. Skilled costumed characters bring history alive as they invite visitors to join them in the Staterooms as the Penshurst Place household prepares for invasion. Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

CELEBRATION OF MOTHER’S DAY: 30TH MARCH

Families can celebrate Mother’s Day at Penshurst Place with fun craft activities to suit all ages and a special menu in the Garden Restaurant. Children will be able to treat their Mums to a handmade Mother’s Day poetry card or present her with a hidden Morse code message on a necklace made in the Education Room. Normal garden admission prices apply. For more information visit www.penshurstplace.com/whatson

Other things to see and do while visiting Penshurst Place and Gardens during February and March:-

• Toy Museum
• House (Sats & Suns only)
• Woodland Trail
• Adventure Playground
• Garden Restaurant
• Porcupine Pantry
• Gift Shop
• The Gardens:

February – early spring flowering bulbs in the Orchard, Nut Garden, Lime Walk and Horse Pond

March – spring blossom in the Orchard, Nut Garden and Flag Garden

Most events are included in standard admission price unless otherwise stated. Full details of the event calendar for 2014 can be found at www.penshurstplace.com/whatson.

If you are one of the many people that stopped by our blog or archive during 2012, I would really like to say thank you. Whether you arrived here and wondered why, or whether you stopped by and found an article or piece of editorial that entertained you or gave you an insight into our little portion of the planet, it was great to see you. We will continue in 2013 to add all of the little bits and pieces that fall between the cracks of our printed version production schedule to ensure that everything we hear about or are sent comes to you in turn. Please fell free to comment on any of the items we publish we appreciate anything and everything you have to say. More

To everyone in, every one of these countries, thank you so very much for taking the time to visit our blog over the past months. We really do appreciate you stopping by and would love you to share some of your thoughts while you are here. Please leave a comment or a like as it helps guide us toward the sort of things that are of most interest to you all.

United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Qatar, France, India, Hong Kong, Brazil, Viet Nam, Canada, Indonesia, Poland, Sweden, South Africa, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Taiwan, Spain, Greece, Russian Federation, Republic of Korea, Finland, Romania, Nigeria, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Iceland, Switzerland Germany, Venezuela , Ireland, Chile, Ukraine, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Cambodia Singapore , Argentina, Pakistan, Slovakia, Malta, Turkey, Senegal, Latvia, United Arab Emirates

Significant Dickens artefacts from Medway have gone on loan to France as part of a new exhibition near Boulogne. More

One of the country’s oldest twinning arrangements will be celebrated in Medway next week (May 19-21) with a Taste of France coming to Chatham. More

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