City helps Vicky go for gold in cycle speedway

World Cycle Speedway Champion, Vicky Brown outside one of her favourite places, The English Institute of Sport in Sheffield'Picture Dean Atkins
World Cycle Speedway Champion, Vicky Brown outside one of her favourite places, The English Institute of Sport in Sheffield'Picture Dean Atkins

Vicky Brown is cycle speedway’s golden girl. This summer the Sheffield Stars rider, captain of the women’s GB team, took the ICSF World Championship title in the sport she joined at 17. Just weeks after her Wolverhampton victory, Vicky was pedalling to glory in the British women’s outdoor championships at Ipswich. The 22-year-old, who lives in Hathersage and trains at tracks in Graves Park and Hillsborough’s Cookson Park, has her own personal coach in dad Ian Brown. The managing partner at law firm Wosskow Brown is a British Cycling Federation coach and is responsible for the development of the sport nationwide. Vicky is currently taking a break from competition to focus on her sports coaching studies at Sheffield Hallam University, but is maintaining her fitness for next summer’s European championships.

Sheffield Cycle

speedway tracks

The tracks at Norton and Parson Cross have been important in helping me achieve all I have done this year. They’re places where I have felt safe and confident enough to try new techniques and push myself to better my racing. I have also made lifelong friends there with people who support me and help me improve.

The Parson Cross track was set up 50 years ago but had become derelict and overgrown. It was renovated eight years ago and put back into use. I first went there five years ago and as well as it being my training base, it’s also where I run coaching sessions for female club members. It’s by far the fastest track, but the one at Norton, which was established over 30 years ago, has much tighter bends and is a real test of your skills.

English Institute

of Sport

This amazing venue on Attercliffe Road is my favourite place to do my winter training. As a club we train there once a week to maintain our fitness and also as a way to attract new members to the club. We centre our training on the 200m running track, which almost acts as a velodrome for us. People who watch us flying around it at top speed often want to know more about what we do. I must admit I prefer training there. It beats pedalling into cold winds and rain in winter.

The Jolly Farmer,

Dronfield Woodhouse

This is my boyfriend’s local pub and we often go there on weekends. We often walk there with his family and to stage own pool tournaments. We’re also regulars on Tuesday nights when the quiz is on. It’s on Pentland Road and everyone says it does great cask beers - including the CAMRA Good Pub Guide - though I’m not a beer drinker myself. I’ve also got sentimental attachment to the pub; it’s where my boyfriend took me on our first date after a trip to the cinema.

Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United grounds

Sport is a big part of my life. I love football, but while most Sheffielders are staunch supporters of one club or the other, I am torn between them both! My family have no such issues; they are all Wednesday fans and last season had a box at the stadium. My boyfriend and his family are all United fans, and for the last two years I have been going to their games. I even went to Wembley for the FA Cup semi finals. For now I’m backing United to move up a league, mainly so we can have another Sheffield derby. I’ve never been to one and I think it would be a great game to watch. My only problem is, where would I sit?

The Tissington Trail

I love cycling on this trail. It’s a very scenic route and when the sun is out, it’s beautiful. It’s an old railway line so it’s a flat, easy route. You can meander along without any great effort. Our family have cycled there for years. These days I often go with my mum Louise. We take our bikes and amble along, having a good natter.

Endcliffe Park

I often go to this park as part of my university studies. My course is in sports coaching and we students do a lot of health walk studies and orienteering. I always enjoy learning in a practical environment and it’s one of the more beautiful parks in Sheffield. I’ve loved it all my life. I used to go there with my cousins when they were little and one of my favourite memories was of being out on the boating lake on a pedal boat with my three-year-old cousin Emily. I have to say, my cycle training came in handy - she loved it when I went fast!

Totley Rise

I have very fond memories of this Totley street from when I was a child. My grandparents used to live just off that road and during the summer holidays my brother Jamie and I would go to visit them and walk the dog to the shops on Totley Rise. We always went to Totley deli and the sweet shop - it was every child’s dream in there.