Cycling’s golden couple took time out to inspire pupils at two Altrincham schools today – and then revealed how Altrincham is home to one of their favourite training routes.
Jason Kenny and Laura Trott boast an incredible 10 Olympic golds between them, winning five of them in this summer’s Rio Games alone.
They’ve had a busy time since, getting married in September and working together with a ghostwriter on a new autobiography, which is out today.
And today Jason, 28, and Laura, 24, popped into both Altrincham Grammar School for Girls and Altrincham Grammar School for Boys to answer questions from pupils.
Speaking after a Q&A session at the girls’ school, Laura said: “It’s fun when you hear the girls’ questions and get interviewed by them, because it’s nice to know what they’re interested in and what they actually want to know.
“For us it’s always about giving back. People say you’re an idol because of your results, but for us it’s going a bit further than that and coming into schools like this and sharing our experiences.
“I want to see as many of these girls become role models in the future, and if by me sharing my experiences with them inspires them to do so, then that’s what I want to do.”
A few weeks after returning from Rio, Jason and Laura – who live in a cottage in Knutsford – tied the knot at the 17th century Hilltop Country House in Prestbury.
Jason announced the couple’s marriage the following day…
Good morning Mrs Kenny pic.twitter.com/DGhbXoE8ig
— Jason Kenny (@JasonKenny107) September 25, 2016
Laura said the day was “incredible… just perfect”, made even better by having successfully kept news of the nuptials away from the press.
“We wanted it to be private,” she said. “We had planned it for such a long time, and I had so many ideas in my head about how I wanted it to be. We didn’t want anything to spoil it, we just did it our way and didn’t tell anybody.”
Jason said that the “dust was now settling” on the attention that had followed them since their summer heroics.
“We’ve become a little bit more well-known, but after this Olympics we were much more prepared for it – after London it was a real shock. It was quite hard to adjust to that.
“We’re Olympic athletes so we peak at the Olympics on our form but we also peak in terms of popularity. Already the dust is settling and we’re getting on with our lives.”
Do they yet realise the enormity of their achievement?
“The day after Rio, we were in my room together and I said, ‘can you believe we’ve just done that’?” said Laura.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet in a way. Everyone’s like ‘you’ve got 10 gold medals between you’, but we’re just Laura and Jason, and it almost doesn’t seem like anything’s different.”
The pair confirmed that while they loved to cycle close to their home in Tatton Park, Altrincham residents should also keep an eye out for them.
“We do one that goes through Dunham Massey to Lymm and then back through Altrincham to home. We call it the Lymm route and it takes about two hours.”
What advice would Laura have for youngsters wanting to get into cycling?
“Make sure you enjoy what you do,” she said. “Go down to a local club and try it, because you never know what your limits are until you go out there and do it.”
Stephanie Gill, head of Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, said Jason and Laura’s visit had been “really inspiring” for the students.
“This was such an honour for the school,” she added. “We’re proud of our sporting heritage and were delighted to welcome Laura and Jason to Altrincham as part of their busy tour.”
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny: The Inside Track by Laura Trott and Jason Kenny is out now in hardback, ￡20 (Michael O’Mara Books).