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Titanic Quarter welcomes Belfast pupils for 'Grande Partenza' Experience

Titanic Quarter welcomes Belfast pupils for 'Grande Partenza' Experience

16th May, 2014


Almost 50 schoolchildren from across Belfast have enjoyed an authentic Giro d’Italia experience by taking part in a mock time trial challenge on the Titanic Slipways, the site of the global cycling event’s Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’.

In a special cross-community event organised by Titanic Quarter Limited and Titanic Foundation Limited in conjunction with Sustrans, pupils from St Joseph’s, Strandtown, Gilnahirk and Andrews Memorial Primary Schools cycled from their schools to Titanic Quarter with their teachers.

They then met some of the riders and sampled the excitement of the build-up in the fan park at the specially-constructed Giro Team Paddocks area, before going head-to-head in a mock time trial at the site where 200 of the world’s top cyclists will set off on Friday for what is the second most prestigious cycling race in the world.

Philip Corr, Project Manager, Titanic Quarter Limited, commented:

“We were delighted to partner with Sustrans and Titanic Foundation Limited to provide local schoolchildren with the opportunity of a lifetime to feel fully involved in this historic and truly global occasion. Giro excitement has been building for weeks now and was at fever pitch amongst the young people at Titanic Quarter, the home of the Giro d’Italia ‘Big Start’.

“The eyes of the sporting world will be on Titanic Quarter over the next few days and it was fantastic for the children to be able to take part in a time trial at the very site where the world’s finest cyclists will perform. Events like this, and the memories which these young people will cherish, are part of the Giro’s lasting legacy in Northern Ireland.”

As well as taking part in the time trials, the schoolchildren also enjoyed a tour of the Titanic Drawing Offices and the SS Nomadic, where they learnt about Belfast’s maritime history. They finished the day by each launching a pink balloon into the sky from the Titanic Slipway before cycling back to school.

Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive Officer, Titanic Foundation Limited, commented:

“We are very excited now Titanic Quarter has well and truly turned pink for the Giro. This amazing event, alongside the many other international events planned for the iconic Titanic Slipways, provides great opportunities for Titanic Foundation to engage with local communities, especially young people, ensuring Titanic Quarter is recognised as a place for everyone.”