More From The South Please

I’ve just finished watching the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year programme, from Sheffield Arena, and if you saw it and have been to this venue for an event, you will have seen just one of the variables in the way the Arena is used.

Which is a long way round to saying that the 16th Sheffield Arena Trial will take place in just under a month’s time, on January 9th when once again the rafters will be lifted when Dougie Lampkin makes another appearance in what many reckon to be the best of all the arena trials.

And if you recall the 2009 event, it was Doug they all had to beat for much of the evening as he performed to a level that looked as if he could pull off yet another win. It could yet happen next month and with a few tickets left, if you have not booked up to see the promotion, then do so for not only will the world’s best trials men be in action, so too will Danny McAskill, whose bike stunts are simply phenomenal.

One of my major concerns as a columnist for this website is that much of what I write about is northern biased. This is not the first time I have brought this subject up, and in the past the response has been insignificant when I have suggested postings reflecting your views.

As a trials rider living in the north, I am very fortunate to have such a wide variety of land on which to ride, particularly in the Lake District, the Cheshire/Derbyshire areas and in Yorkshire. Lancashire is not quite as favourable as much of the land that was once plentiful for trials riding is no more, and I’m sure that this is a major problem reflected to an even greater extent as the consideration of land usage is made further south.

As we have such good areas available to us in the north, there is a great tendency for the sport to be considered as one that is northern biased, but I hope that is not so and I know that Andy Greig, TC’s site owner, would welcome greater input from individuals and clubs in areas that are not particularly well covered at the moment.

What we don’t want to become is what the quality national newspapers seem to have been guilty of recently, and that is be London/South East orientated and totally oblivious as to how the rest of the country lives and behaves. So that’s today’s message, if your club/area is not represented on Trials Central, then please join up and make us bigger and better for the benefit of everyone in the sport.

The name Olga Kevelos may not mean much to many readers of this column, but Olga Kevelos, was quite literally a legend in her own time, and her recent passing is a considerable loss to the sport. These days there are many female trials riders and they brighten up our sport considerably, but Olga Kevelos was one of the first of a very rare breed who took up trials riding in their youth when it was most definitely a man’s sport.

She rode a considerable number of Scottish Six Days Trials as well as winning several Gold medals in the ISDT and even took part in Mastermind on which she answered questions on Genghis Khan. I only ever met her once, at a dinner some years ago and to me she seemed a forceful and determined lady, a fact that was borne out by the details revealed in the superb obituary that appeared in The Times a few days ago.