A SELFLESS volunteer who has been organising cycling events and developing youngsters’ interest in the sport for a decade has decided to take a break following a health scare.
But in typical fashion, Harborough’s Dean Barnett has decided to go out on a high by promoting a huge cyclo-cross weeked at Misterton Hall in Lutterworth on Saturday (October 27).
Dean has spent ten years developing Welland Valley Cycling Club’s Whizz Kids youth section, building it from a membership of four to the more than 150 it boasts today and sharing his passion for cycling with thousands of children in the process.
In that time the father-of-two, who won the Mail’s Sports Personality of the Year award last December, has also organised numerous major cycling events in that time.
But the hard work appeared to finally catch-up with him in the spring, when he suffered a seizure at his home just two months before he was due to carry the Olympic flame through Harborough.
He was fit enough to run through the streets with the torch on July 2 and has since been given the all-clear from his neurologist.
But Dean said he has decided to take a break from volunteering for a couple of years in a bid to fully regain his health.
He said: “The last 12 months have been very strange, from receiving fantastic recognition from the Harborough Mail to suffering a seizure, to running with the Olympic Torch across my town centre - trust me for a Harborough lad to have this honour it was very humbling.
“The seizure knocked me for six and made sit down and think and I have decided to take a break.
“I’m hoping to rekindle my desire to ride a bike again to get my health back and help me de-stress from a challenging few years ahead at work. I have realised I’m not bionic and I need more than five hours sleep every night.
“My last Whizz Kids session will be in December. I have invested so much energy and time in youth cycling I hope to return in a few years. But my last session will be very sad occasion.”
The Misterton Madness event in Lutterworth this Saturday is part of the Rapha Super Cross Series. Spectators can enter for free to enjoy racing amid a party atmosphere from 10.15am.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North