11 December 2023 - Last updated 9 January 2024

Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe takes the Rise Up Academy and British Cycling’s City Academies behind the scenes in London

As the 2023 UCI Track Champions League reached a spectacular conclusion at Lee Valley VeloPark exactly one month ago today, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe shared a special moment by giving two leading youth organisations a behind-the-scenes experience they will never forget.

In the run-up to the final two rounds, a group of 10 Global Academy students taking part in the Rise Up Academy program, were invited to an exclusive backstage tour of the Lee Valley Velodrome, meeting key members of the TV production team, to get an inside view of the cutting-edge race series.

The Rise Up Academy is an outreach programme supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS) - the Official Cloud Infrastructure Provider of the UCI Track Champions League - built to assist primary and secondary school children in developing careers in broadcast technology.

The students met key members of the production team including Production Manager for Cycling at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, Gary Overall, Presenter of Inside Track – the UCI Track Champions League’s TV show on Eurosport and discovery+ - Kate Mason, world feed and UK Producers Paul Pasquet and Pete Burton, and TV Producer Josselin Riou to gain valuable insights into life in front of and behind the lens.

With a tour of the broadcast facilities and a visit to the track centre, the students experienced the multitude of camera setups, lighting rigs, big screen controls and the TV graphics desk, all used to broadcast the track cycling spectacle across the world.

Mya Brown, Global Academy student, said: "We had the privilege of talking with Kate Mason. This was interesting as we learnt about her experiences within the industry and how her routine is always changing, especially when broadcasting in different types of venues and environments. This experience as a whole was very helpful as it gave us an insight into the industry."

Izzi Daniels, Global Academy student, said: "We did lots of fascinating things including holding RF cameras, watching an interview with a track cycling champion and seeing inside a working OB truck. We had a great day."

Principal Customer Solutions Manager at AWS, Kris Langbridge, said: “We are proud to support Rise in their mission to introduce students to different careers in the broadcast technology industry and would like to thank Warner Bros. Discovery Sports for providing this fantastic learning experience for the students from Global Academy.”

If that wasn't enough, as part of its City Academies programme, British Cycling invited 20 Academy pupils from East London's Bobby Moore School to take part in an exclusive track session at the Lee Valley Velodrome, where they got to meet UCI Track Champions League stars Mark Stewart, Neah Evans and Ellie Stone just hours before the British trio took to the boards.

Then, when it came to the racing, the students were treated to tribune tickets allowing them to witness everything in action.

British Cycling's Head of Participation, Amy Gardner, said: "At British Cycling we have a proud track record of using our sport's flagship events to engage more children and young people in our sport and activities, and I know just how much the pupils from Bobby Moore Academy loved meeting some of our British track heroes and watching them race from the stands.

"Since launching in 2021, our City Academies programme has had great success in widening access to cycling in East London and supporting communities to create their own cycling champions, and we're looking forward to watching the programme go from strength-to-strength in 2024."

On Saturday, ahead of the Grand Finale, 16 youth members of four local British Cycling clubs who are training towards local and national racing opportunities through regional and national Schools of Racing, were given the same treatment.

Their exclusive track session took place under the guidance of six-time Olympic gold medallist, Sir Chris Hoy, who is also an ambassador of the UCI Track Champions League. After the session had concluded, the children also got the chance to have a Q&A session with the man himself and asked him a variety of questions about his journey into cycling and what it is like living and performing as a world-class athlete.

The collaboration between Warner Bros. Discovery Sports and both the Rise Up Academy and City Academies initiatives showcase the importance of events like the UCI Track Champions League in introducing the younger generation to the excitement of track cycling.

Chris Ball, VP - Cycling Events at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: "It was a pleasure to host such enthusiastic young guests from the Rise Up Academy and City Academies initiatives - both of whom are great organisations doing important work for future generations. For Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, actions like these are crucial, as they present an opportunity to break down the barriers many young people face and give deserving youngsters an experience we hope will inspire them to forge their own path in sport.”

For more information on the UCI Track Champions League, and to keep up to date with the latest news stories, visit ucitrackchampionsleague.com.


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