Today a festival of art, music and dance to celebrate the career and achievements of Cardiff cyclist Geraint Thomas OBE, took place at Maindy Better Centre.
Almost one year to the day since his historic 2018 Tour De France win, the Yellow Jersey Festival saw the unveiling of a permanent visual memorial spanning over 74m around Maindy Better Centre, home of the Maindy Flyers where the Welshman first began his career.
Funded through a £12,500 grant from the Arts Council of Wales as part of the Creative Collaboration Scheme, the festival attracted over 150 school children from seven local schools who have worked on the project since January.
The project has seen a host of artists, musicians and poets collaborate with pupils from Cathays High School, Albany Primary School, Allensbank Primary School, Gladstone Primary School, St. Josephs R.C Primary School, St Monica's CiW Primary School and Ysgol Mynydd Bychan.
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “This is a wonderful example of collaborative working, bringing together several local schools to celebrate one of Cardiff’s most acclaimed sportsmen of recent times.
“The mural will inspire all those children and young people who visit the cycle track, reminding them of what they can achieve with enthusiasm, hard work and determination.”
Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “Cardiff is a proud nation and the city always gets behind its sportsmen and women, to celebrate Geraint in this way is fantastic.
“The legacy mural installed at Maindy Better Centre also brings the track into the spotlight, showcasing the facilities and grass-roots sport development which have nurtured so many talented cyclists, and will continue to into the future.”
Deian Jones, Chairman of Maindy Flyers Cycling Youth Club, said: “The Maindy Flyers Youth Biking Club has a special history with Geraint's success in Le Tour being an obvious highlight. “There is no doubt that this artwork will inspire the next generation of cyclists and help our club go from strength to strength.”
Miss Siân Evans, Headteacher at Ysgol Mynydd Bychan, said: “This project will ensure that there is a permanent memorial of Geraint Thomas' success as well as every former member of the Maindy Flyers who has gone on to enjoy successful careers as professional cyclists.
“Dream out, go for it, don't let anything hold you back,” was one of Geraint Thomas' main messages following his victory. This project has the potential to inspire a new generation of keen cyclists and athletes. It will also ensure that the children of this area have something to constantly remind them of the need to aim high and to persevere as they follow their dreams.
“With hard work, success is achievable for everyone whatever the areas they choose to specialise in.”
Anthony Hayes, manager of Maindy Center, said: “The Maindy Center is delighted to be part of this exciting art project, one that will celebrate the tremendous achievement of our local hero and BBC Personality of the Year - Geraint Thomas. It will be an opportunity for children and young people in the Cathays area to display their admiration and support for Geraint's journey.
“A chance to celebrate the fact that he has achieved his dreams since he was a young boy with the Maindy Flyers on the only outdoor cycle track in Cardiff. Through the arts, other young people can be inspired to follow the same journey to success.”