Paralympian Scott's switch is music to the ears

Helen Scott, pictured here as a junior at Halesowen Cycling Club, is also a keen musician

Helen Scott, pictured here as a junior at Halesowen Cycling Club, is also a keen musician

First published in Sport

HELEN Scott aims to make her mark in the velodrome on Friday but if things had turned out differently, it could have been the concert hall.

The 22-year-old is a keen pianist who a decade ago would divide her time between the bike and the piano stool.

But when the two began to clash, it took the input of Halesowen Cycling Club coach Carl Gregory to help decide matters.

He said: “Helen used to train at the club on a Saturday morning but she also used to have piano lessons at that time.

“I ended up going to see her parents and asking if they wouldn’t mind changing the times of the piano lessons — I didn’t know what reaction I’d get and to be honest I thought they might tell me to clear off!

“In the end cycling took over, she came riding with us on a Saturday morning and things took off from there really.”

Standout showings in the purple of Halesowen saw Scott join British Cycling’s under-23 Sprint Academy in November 2008 and success on a national level soon followed as she and Halesowen team-mate Jess Varnish claimed the women’s team sprint title in 2009.

After finishing fourth in the Track World Cup event in Denmark in 2009, she joined the GB Para-Cycling Team in April 2010, teaming up with Aileen McGlynn to form a formidable partnership on the tandem.

Gregory believes Scott’s never-say-die attitude will stand her in good stead as she prepares for the toughest test of her career.

He added: “From a really young age you could see how great her determination was, she had a superb work ethic and never put in less than 100 per cent.

“I can’t really remember her ever missing a training session, not even if she felt ill or under the weather.

“You simply can’t coach whatever that special ingredient is, that determination and will to win.

“Some people come down to training and they will take part, others come to train and they will work and give it their all.

“Helen is definitely one of the latter.”

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