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Big Ride picThey’re off! Cyclists in Medway have hit the road to Rio – host city for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.

Over the next four months, everyone is being invited to take part in a community challenge to cycle the distance equal to the journey from Medway to Rio – about 7,500 miles.
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Between now and 17 May the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow will be on tour to help Medway cyclists clock up miles on static bikes mounted on turbo trainers.

The initiative is part of the build up to Medway Sport’s new mass participation cycling event – The Big Ride – which takes place on Saturday, 17 May.

The roadshow was launched at Medway Park at the weekend during the Medway Big Splash. It will be visiting locations across Medway including sports centres, libraries, shopping centres, schools and businesses such as Questor Insurance, sponsors of the Medway Sporting Academy.

Cycle computers will calculate individual people’s mileage, as well as logging the cumulative total across Medway. So you can cycle one mile or a hundred! Everyone taking part will be invited to take part in the mass participation event at the Big Ride, where they will receive a free souvenir t-shirt and the chance to win one of the bikes.

The main Big Ride event at Medway Park in May will feature lots of free cycling activities including a family treasure trail ride organised by the Better Medway team, an interactive mountain bike skills track, karting, Go-Ride races and training, have-a-go arenas and exhibitions. Something for everyone regardless of their ability.

Additional events linked to the Big Ride event will be Sportive rides for more experienced cyclists and a mountain bike competition at Capstone Park country park, both organised by British Cycling.

You can register for the Medway Big Ride mass mile online at www.medway.gov.uk/bigride. You will also find more information online about the Big Ride event and when the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow will be visiting your neighbourhood.

If your organisation or venue is interested in hosting the Cycle the Road to Rio roadshow, it’s not too late. Call 01634 338255 or email medwaysport@medway.gov.uk.

Cllr Howard Doe, Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Cycling is becoming even more popular following the success of British riders at the Olympics and the Tour de France.
“As part of our sporting legacy, mass participation events like the Road to Rio roadshow and the Big Ride will give Medway cyclists plenty of opportunities to join in with serious riding as well as fun activities.”

Cycle the Road to Rio Roadshow locations are below. Timings 10am-4pm.

DATE VENUE
18-26 January Medway Park Sports Centre, Mill Road, Gillingham
30 January – 1 February Tesco, Cuxton Road, Strood
5– 7 February Medway Council offices, Gun Wharf, Chatham
8-9 February Hundred of Hoo Sports Centre, Main Road, Hoo
10 – 12 February Questor Insurance, Station Road, Rainham
Fri 14 – Mon 17 Strood Sports Centre, Watling Street, Strood
Half term week 17– 21 February Public Health Write and Play activity sessions. Venues to be confirmed.
28 February – 2 March Kings Rochester Sports Centre, Maidstone Road, Rochester
5 March Mini Youth Games Table Tennis, The Howard School, Rainham
6 – 10 March Splashes Leisure Pool, Bloors Lane, Rainham
10- 12 March Mid Kent College Campus, Medway Road, Gillingham
13 – 16 March Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre, Gillingham
16 March Families On Your Marks Day at Medway Park
21 March Deangate Ridge Golf Complex, Dux Court Road, Hoo
27 March Mini Youth Games Netball, Rainham Netball Centre
4 –7 April Diggerland, Medway Valley Leisure Park, Strood
10 – 12 April Rainham Library, Birling Avenue
17 – 19 April Community Hub, High Street, Gillingham
24 – 26 April Community Hub, Dock Road, Chatham
1 – 3 May Community Hub, Eastgate, High Street, Rochester
17 May Medway Big Ride, Medway Park, Gillingham
24 May British Cycling Mountain Biking Competition, Capstone Park

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splashesThe swimming pool at Splashes Leisure Centre will be closed for four days next month (Nov 4-7 inclusive) to allow routine maintenance checks to take place.
The fitness centre will not be affected.

The council is carrying out routine maintenance checks to ensure Splashes provides the best possible experience for swimmers and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Should further work be required this will need to be carried out at a later date.
Medway Council’s three other swimming pools will be open as usual. The nearest alternative swimming pool is at Medway Park – details of opening times can be found at http://www.medwaypark.org.uk or by phoning 336655.

ApprenticeshipA number of local businesses looking to recruit new staff will be setting up shop at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham this week for the Medway Jobs and Apprenticeship Fair 2013.

The event, organised by Medway Council and Job Centre Plus, takes place from 10am to 3pm on Thursday, 26 September on the first floor of the shopping mall.

It builds on a highly successful jobs fair held last year attended by more than 1,700 jobseekers resulting in 100 jobs being secured and many others helped to get their career ambitions on track.

A number of local employers from across Medway and the rest of Kent will have stands as well as employment support agencies, offering advice on training and skills to help people back into work or find a new career.

That includes the council backed Employ Medway service, based in High Street. Chatham which offers courses and one-to-one support for people who have been unemployed for some time.

Jobcentre Plus will be on hand to provide information on how both employers and jobseekers can benefit from the Wage Incentive scheme, work trials and work experience. Read More

Medway Council tonight unveils its strategy for delivering a long-term sporting legacy for the people of Medway.

The launch of En Route to Rio: Delivering Medway’s Sporting Legacy 2013-2016 is being staged to coincide with Medway’s largest mass participation sporting event – the Medway Mile.

In addition, two new flagship events inspired by the success of the Medway Mile have also been announced. More

Interested in a career in fitness? Medway Community Learning is holding an information day, where potential learners can meet the tutors, find out more about working in a gym and have a go at some exercise activities.

The information day is Wednesday, 17 July 10am to 2pm at Medway Park. Wear gym clothing and bring a water bottle. Places are limited so please call to book.

MCL is running gym instructing courses in August and September and a personal training course in September. To find out more about these courses or to book a place on this information day, phone 01634 338400.

Celebrating 25 Years of Fostering and the Launch of New Offices in Chatham

At our snug little office here at PT we are cocooned from some of the harsh realities that face many others in the world. The sun shines through the windows and nice people call us up to sell their sofa or advertise their skills as a fully apprenticed treacle sculptor.

new 320But even in and around some of the quiet rural and urban roads and cul-de-sacs that we take for granted, there are children facing some real challenges in their young lives. We attended the opening of the new office of Next Step Fostering in Chatham and discovered a large number of people there ready and waiting to do all they could to remove this type of burden from young shoulders. Read More

Two intensive summer fitness courses will run during August.
Active IQ Certificate in Fitness Instructing (Level 2) runs from Monday, 5 August to Friday, 23 August from 9.30am to 4.30pm at Medway Park.
For more details or to sign up contact Dan Mace at dan.mace@medway.gov.uk or 01634 338412.
The course costs £523. Concessions apply. May be fully funded if you are a job-seeker.

Two Brook Youth Theatre performers in a previous production.

Two Brook Youth Theatre performers in a previous production.

Wannabe young actors can learn the tricks of the trade and take the first step on the performing arts career ladder thanks to The Brook Youth Theatre. Run by Play on Words theatre company, place are now booking on the new 10-week summer term, which starts on Wednesday 17 April.

Aimed at 13-18 year olds, the workshops will give young people the opportunity to work with industry professionals, develop drama skills and introduce them to important theatrical practitioners, writers and styles of theatre.

The workshops will include improvisation, scripted drama, songs, movement, devising short theatrical pieces, as well as working towards performances at the Dickens Festival and a Young People’s Performing Arts Gala Evening on Saturday, 6 July. The group meets at The Brook Theatre, Chatham, from 17 April to 26 June, from 7-9pm. The course is £44 and places can be booked from 23 March through the theatres box office on 01634 338338. More

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012. Today’s announcement from the Cabinet Office has given the charity the opportunity to thank all its volunteers for all their hard work and dedication to help save lives at sea.

The charity, which relies on volunteers to carry out its lifesaving work and who form 95% of its workforce, is one of just 60 organisations to receive this one-off award. The category that was added to the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in order to mark the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic year.

In a nomination submitted by long-term RNLI supporters, actor Timothy Spall and his wife Shane, the charity’s volunteers were described as ‘what is ‘Great’ about Britain.’ The Spalls went on to say: ‘They are an inspiration, and have our eternal gratitude and respect.’

Volunteers have been at the heart of the RNLI since its inception in 1824; its 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members are on call 24/7, launching whatever the weather and often in the hours of darkness to help those in danger around the UK and the Republic of Ireland. In addition, volunteer lifeguards work alongside paid lifeguards to help keep beach-users safe and educate those who visit the coast. Specially-trained Flood Rescue Teams are also ready to deploy to any instances of inland flooding. None of this would be possible without thousands more dedicated volunteers who give their time to raise funds and awareness, give safety advice and help out in museums, shops and offices across the country

Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, said: ‘We are absolutely thrilled to receive this prestigious award, and for our selfless volunteers to be recognised for their commitment and dedication in this Diamond Jubilee year.

‘Our volunteers come from all walks of life and are united by one common goal; an unfaltering commitment to help save lives at sea. From the volunteer crews and lifeguards who are at the forefront of rescues to the people who give up their time to raise vital funds. I am not only proud to be part of the charity but inspired by so many ordinary people doing extraordinary things’.

Martyn Lewis CBE, Chairman, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award Committee, said:

“The sixty organisations honoured today with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Volunteering have built their success on the dedication and generosity of thousands of extraordinary people, each of whom has devoted their time and energy to the simple aim of making their communities – and their country – a better place.

Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:

“The list of recipients of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Volunteering reads like a Who’s Who of British volunteering and is testament to the enduring strength and immeasurable contribution of volunteers over the past sixty years.”

“2012 brought volunteering firmly, and deservedly, into the spotlight. The stories behind these awards show what people can achieve when they come together and I hope they will inspire more people to come forward to contribute, and to gain from, all that volunteering offers.”

RNLI lifeboat crew member Gavin Steeden and volunteer lifeguard Chris Lewis will be representing the charity at a small presentation being held by the Cabinet Office at Whitehall this evening (12 December).

Gavin said: ‘I have grown up with the RNLI and volunteer alongside my dad, brother and friends – it is part of who I am and what I love. It is a great honour to be recognised for what we do, and I am really proud to be representing not only my own station in Swanage but all the volunteers who are part of the charity.’ More

Businesses in Medway will benefit from three new professional development courses thanks to Medway Adult and Community Learning Service. More

An event to help businesses in Medway create jobs and tackle unemployment is being held next week.

The conference, which will take place at the Corn Exchange, Rochester on Thursday, 16 February, is aimed at letting local businesses know about the range of free employment services on offer to them. More

An open evening to find out about teaching qualifications will take place later this month. The informal event will take place on Tuesday, 17 January at the Rochester Adult Education Centre/Community Hub from 5pm to 7.30pm. More

Qualified Nordic Walking instructor Louise Bastable, from Hucking near Maidstone, is bringing Sunday morning Nordic Walking sessions to Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest in Kent – part of the Forestry Commission. More

Young people can step into a new career thanks to a new fitness instructor course starting in September. More

Can it be worthwhile to study part time whilst working full time when you are over 35 or even 45 years old? More

Cycle training for children is being offered by Medway Council and Greenacre School Sports Partnership this summer. It’s designed to help improve their skills and roadcraft. More

A teaching taster session could set learners on route to a new career thanks to Medway Adult and Community Learning Service. More

that right now as close at hand as Upnor’s Arethusa Centre, you can go rock climbing? More

FOR A ‘WOOFING’ GOOD TIME COME ALONG TO THE EllenorLions Hospices SCRUFFS COMPANION DOG SHOW ON SUNDAY 22ND MAY 2011 BETWEEN 11AM – 4PM More

Olympic athletes from Senegal will be training in Medway ahead of the 2012 Games.

Medway Council has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Senegal National Olympic and Sports Committee. More

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