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Flag competition winner Emilia's excitement at waving off Tour of Britain cyclists

22 September 2022

Tour of Britain Start-40.jpg

A delighted Market Warsop schoolgirl has spoken of her joy after winning a special competition which saw her officially start the Nottinghamshire stage of the AJ Bell Tour of Britain cycle race.

Talented Emilia Wood, nine, a Year 5 pupil at Birklands Primary School, was the lucky winner of Nottinghamshire County Council’s design the starting flag competition for children – which saw her wave off some of the world’s most famous cyclists at West Bridgford using the flag she designed.

The competition was developed in partnership with the county council’s partners Arc Partnership and SCAPE.

Emilia’s school held a special assembly on the day so that her friends and teachers could watch her moment of glory live on television.

She said: “It was exciting to wave the flag for the start of the race, especially being able to watch all the riders.

“I was very proud to wave the flag because it was my own design and it was great to see to see how it had been made.”

Her proud mum Leanne said Emilia has always enjoyed art but was shocked when she found out her daughter had won the competition.

She said: “She loves art and design. She’s always doing it at home so I knew there might be a good chance she’d be in the running, but I couldn’t believe it when she won.

“I was very proud when she waved the flag, and I couldn’t believe how many riders were going by. She did really well.”

Creative Emilia won the competition after a public vote across the county council’s social media platforms before Councillor John Cottee, Cabinet Member for Communities, chose a winner from a shortlist of six.

He said: “The quality of entries for the competition was fantastic and it was extremely difficult for me to select a winner from the shortlist, but Emilia’s entry stood out from the rest with her eye-catching design.

“It must have been an extremely proud moment for her family watching on as she officially started the stage in West Bridgford and something they and Emilia will remember for the rest of their lives.

“I would like to thank all the schools and parents for their hard work in helping the pupils to submit their entries and congratulations once again to Emilia on her success – it’s very much deserved.”

As well as officially starting the race, lucky Emilia will also keep her professionally made flag, receive a special invitation for her and her class to visit one of the Notts Outdoors day centres to take part in an environmental education-based activity.

Notts Outdoors is the outdoor and environmental education service for Nottinghamshire County Council and has eight outdoor centres across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, providing outdoor learning opportunities for young people so they can get outdoors, have fun and make memories for life.

She has also won a special Robin Hood-themed tour of the iconic Sherwood Forest.

The 116-mile Nottinghamshire stage, from West Bridgford to Mansfield, on 8 September was won by Belgian rider Jordi Meeus, of the BORA – Hansgrohe team.


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