Television star Kirsty Gallacher pedalled her way on to Southampton’s Streets to launch the city’s second Sky Ride on Sunday.
The Sky Sports presenter was on hand to encourage thousands of people of all ages and abilities to take to the saddle and ride the five mile traffic free route through the city centre.
The Sky Ride, which began at 10am and finished at 4pm, offered families and children the opportunity to cycle safely on car-free roads. This coupled with a carnival atmosphere made it a day to remember.
In this exclusive interview with Stuart Appleby, Kirsty talks about the initiative and the importance of giving children the chance to cycle.
“It’s fantastic, there’s lots of people enjoying themselves here. We’ve just launched Sky Ride Southampton and I think it’s a brilliant initiative,” she said.
“I’m quite honoured to ride alongside two professional Team Sky cyclists Davide Appollonio and Michael Roger and it’s been really interesting to listen to their stories about the Tour de France.”
The Sky Ride campaign is trying to get one million more people riding a bike by 2013 and Kirsty says cycling has many benefits.
“It’s such a good thing to be doing for fitness and social reasons. I’m doing a lot more cycling now that I’ve got children because kids obviously love it and it’s a lovely part of childhood. It’s a really nice thing to do as a family.
“For confidence reasons, it’s very important to get young children on a bike as they want to discover. I’ve got two typical little boys who love cars, bikes and scooters and it’s good to get them out there and doing it early.”
Towards the end of our interview, I couldn’t let the incredibly successful broadcaster go without asking her for some advice about breaking into the media industry!
Having graduated from the London College of Fashion in journalism and promotion, Kirsty soon joined Sky Sports as a production assistant in 1996 before moving on to become a presenter at the station in 1998.
She assumed this position until 2000, before hosting Sky One’s ‘Kirsty’s Home Videos’ and fronting many other television programmes thereafter. In May 2011, Kirsty rejoined Sky Sports News to present the newly revamped breakfast show ‘Good Morning Sports Fans’.
“Well gosh, that’s a good question. Local newspapers are good, do a bit of work there,” she said.
“Sky is brilliant at giving opportunities. A lot of presenters come from television or radio stations from whatever area they grew up in. It’s a really good place to go and they give you opportunities.
“You have to work really hard, get the experience on board and I’m sure you will get that opportunity. Good luck with it.”