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Ready, steady, invent! Cycling champion Mark Cavendish tasks kids to dream up the ‘Sports of the Future’

  • Mark Cavendish and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) launch competition asking 5-13-year-olds to go for gold and reimagine the sporting world
  • With schools closed and the country on lockdown, children are being encouraged to stretch their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths skills and come up with a new sport or an invention that makes an existing sport even better
  • The lucky winner will have their idea made into a real-life prototype

With the world of sport currently on hold, the IET hopes the competition will encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians to think creatively and follow in the footsteps of the inspirational Benjamin Franklin and George Nissen – who invented swim fins and the trampoline when they were just kids themselves.

All children need to do is share their design, for the IET’s expert panel to judge on creativity, originality, imagination and the engineering thought behind it. From a brand-new sporting gadget such as a flying skateboard to upgrading current sports such as a tennis racket with super bouncy strings – the more inspired, the better.

Entries will be judged by a panel of experts including multiple world cycling champion Mark Cavendish, IET President Peter Bonfield and IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Ying Wan Loh.

Mark Cavendish, known as the greatest sprinter in the history of the Tour de France, commented: “With the country on lockdown and schools closed, many parents including myself are looking for different ways to keep our kids busy, happy and stimulated. It’s also a time when we all have to be a bit more creative with how we take part in sports, so I’m really excited to be working with IET on this campaign. I’m looking forward to seeing the fun and fantastical ways kids use their imagination.”

Peter Bonfield, IET President, said: “These are challenging times – many parents are navigating homeschooling for the first time, and an exciting summer of sport many of us were looking forward to is gradually dwindling. This competition is a perfect opportunity for children to stretch their STEM skills, at a time when scientists and engineers are being touted as real-life superheroes We hope that children across the country will use this time to put on their inventive hats and come up with some fantastic ideas.”

In order to enter, children between the ages of 5 – 13 simply have to fill in an entry form with a sketch of their invention along with a description and how it could work. The entry form can be downloaded from  and should be emailed to The competition is open between 22nd April – 11th May.



About the IET

  • We inspire, inform and influence the global engineering community to engineer a better world.
  • We are a diverse home for engineering and technology intelligence throughout the world. This breadth and depth means we are uniquely placed to help the sector progress society.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and technology to change outdated perceptions and tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • Interview opportunities are available with our spokespeople from a range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and diversity in engineering.
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Media enquiries to:

Rebecca Gillick
External Communications Manager
T: +44 (0)7725 498 129