5 July 2016

A custom-built motorbike created by students at a Lincolnshire specialist college has won a haul of trophies in a national competition for the third year running.

Rust Rat, designed and created by students with learning disabilities at Linkage College near Spilsby, returned from the National Youthbike Competition with six pieces of silverware, bringing the total to 18 in this competition over the last three years.

The students - Charles Case, Lewis Chafer, Joshua Hyatt, Jacob Mutti and Dale Wilding - worked on the bike as part of their Functional Skills studies, involving English, Maths and ICT.

They beat off competition from entries which came from as far afield as Cheshire and Kent. The final was held at the Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre near Coningsby, Lincolnshire at the end of June.

The team won trophies for the following categories: Fantasy Best Decorated; Fantasy Best in Show; Fantasy Most Imaginative; Best Boys' Team; Public's Choice; Reality Section Best Engineering Solo Bike.

Lecturer Karl Crawford said:

“I’m so proud of the team. The lads worked hard every week on Rust Rat, from designing the new motorbike to using hand-operated steel fabrication, machinery and equipment to shape the parts.

"They loved the event and seeing the other entries in the competition. Winning the Reality Section Best Engineering Solo Bike was the icing on the cake for me.”

Tony Nightingale, Chairman of the National Youth Bike Competition, says:

“It was brilliant and Linkage really has set the standard. Their success over the last three years shows what you can achieve. The judging was done independently by motorbike enthusiasts and Linkage has probably the best record of any group in the competition.”

Meanwhile, Linkage’s students also became judges themselves at the competition with a trophy donated by the charity.

The Students’ Choice Award went to a team from Newark whose bike provided the best inspiration for the Linkage learners.