Updated: Thursday, 21st March 2019 @ 4:15pm

'It doesn't get much better than meeting Sir Chris Hoy': Stockport cycling coach rubs shoulders with Olympic legend

'It doesn't get much better than meeting Sir Chris Hoy': Stockport cycling coach rubs shoulders with Olympic legend

By Ryan Walters

Stockport cycling coach Richard Archer admits he will be the envy of his daughter after a simple click on Facebook led to him rub shoulders with Britain’s greatest-ever Olympian Sir Chris Hoy last week.

After his daughter Emily decided to take up track cycling at the Manchester Velodrome in February, Archer has split his time between coaching and his profession as a consultant occupational physician.

In order to help his daughter in her new-found love, the 46-year-old saw the 2012 Gillette Great Starts campaign as the ideal competition for him, a programme working in partnership with Sports Coach UK to sponsor a significant number of coaching qualifications.

After entering via Gillette’s Facebook page the campaign concluded at an event attended by ambassadors Hoy, winner of six Olympic gold medals, and swimmer Liam Tancock who celebrated with the successful recipients of this year’s grants in London.

Also in attendance in the capital were Loughborough swimming coach Ben Titley and British Cycling coach Shane Sutton, but Archer insists it was coming face-to-face with Hoy that will live long in his memory.

“Being successful with the Gillette Great Starts campaign is absolutely brilliant. Most times you enter a competition you don’t expect to win so it is a real thrill,” said Archer, a level two cycling coach.

“I have never done any coaching before but my daughter Emily got into track cycling at the Manchester Velodrome in February and she has improved so much since then.

“She would spend up to eight hours a week cycling and being the taxi and spending so many hours sitting around wasn’t my sort of thing so I thought I would get involved.

“So being successful with this scheme will really help me improve my coaching and help me help others which is great.

“And as a cycling coach it doesn’t get much better than meeting Sir Chris Hoy and my daughter is going to be pretty envious of me I should think.”

Archer’s tentative steps into cycling coaching so far have taken place at Sports City Velo and Eastlands Velo, although he admits he is unsure if he will be his daughter's coach full-time.

“I wouldn’t necessarily want to coach my own daughter because that could be a bit intense and although it worked with Seb Coe it is perhaps a bit fraught with danger,” he added.

“All the current coaches volunteer as far as I know and they have done so much for Emily and have provided her with everything she needs to progress.

“There are a series of very good semi-pro meets at the Velodrome each year which are great spectator events and we went along and loved it. From that Emily got a taster session for Christmas and she hasn’t looked back since.

“Assessing somebody’s fitness to work is not that different to assessing somebody’s fitness to train so hopefully there will be some transferrable skills.”

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