Welney motorcyclist revs his way into YOPEY contest

Seventeen-year-old Michael Farrow has been nominated for Linx Young People of the Year
Seventeen-year-old Michael Farrow has been nominated for Linx Young People of the Year

A keen young motorcyclist from Fenland who is helping other riders has revved his way into a competition highlighting the achievements of young people.

Michael Farrow, 17, has been nominated for Linx Young People of the Year. The competition reveals, recognises and rewards young positive role models across Cambridgeshire and there is £2,000 in prize money for winners to share with the community.

Michael, of Hundred Foot Bank, Welney, was nominated by John Suckling, his course director at the College of West Anglia at its Campus in Ramnoth Road,Wisbech.

He described Michael as a quiet, unassuming but dedicated person who never boasts about his achievements.

Michael has completed his Performance Engineering Operations level two vocational qualification and plans to go on and do a BTEC in motorsport at the campus. It could lead to a career on the engineering side of motor sport, such as pit crew.

He rides 17 miles a day, three days a week, on his motorbike to college in all weathers. In addition he spends at least one night a week travelling to Ely to pass on his know-how to members of the Garage Youth Bike group.

“I think it’s impressive that a 17-year-old, only just able to ride legally, is passing on his skills and enthusiasm to other young people,” said John.

He said Michael was not great academically and he had difficulty in meeting some of the vocational skills.

“But Michael remained dedicated, focused and determined to complete his course and do well. He is the sort of young person that makes you proud to teach and support.”

Michael has worked hard to achieve a youth worker course level one qualification and now volunteers one night a week with the group.

He passed his test for a 50cc bike when he was 16 and later upgraded his licence. But he had been biking around the family farm from the age of 14 and quad-biking under parental supervision before that.

He said he really enjoys going to the group. As well as mixing socially they have safety in mind and fix the bikes to make sure that they are in good order and safe.

“It’s good to see the kids working on the bikes,” he said. “Bikers don’t always have a good image, but we are working to improve that and show we are responsible.”

Michael also goes with different members of the same group at private premises in Littleport on Wednesday.

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing, a motorcyclist until he became a father, said: “It’s great a young motorcyclist is passing on his know-how and encouraging other young bikers to look after their machines and be safe and responsible.”

The competition has a top prize of £800, with £400 for the winner and the same amount for a good cause of their choice. There is a prize of £400 for the second place, £200 for the third and top junior, all similarly shared.

Entrants must be aged 10-25 and live, work or study in the county. An awards ceremony will be held at Ely Cathedral in October.

Do you know somebody who deserves the title Young Person of the Year? To nominate logon to yopey.org or write, enclosing a stamped-addressed-envelope, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN for an entry form. Entries close on August 15.