A GROUP of hard-working young people from Bradford – who are close-knit and like a “family” – are being put through their paces ahead of the Super Soapbox Challenge next weekend.

Bradford College students have been praised by their tutors for creating soapboxes – which are essentially non-powered go-karts – from scratch, ahead of an action-packed event in the city centre on Sunday, April 30.

The event was held for the first time last year, as teams raced their soapboxes against each other through Kirkgate and the surrounding streets.

One of the karts was made for the Telegraph & Argus, who will face off against teams including Bradford College, Bradford City FC and other local organisations and businesses.

“I’ve really enjoyed making the soapboxes, it’s fun to get creative and get your mind working,” said 17-year-old fabrication and welding student Tyrese Dore.

“We all get together and have a good laugh, and we’ve also learned about safety, how to spot danger and improved our social skills.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tutors Peter Hallam (second from left), Rebecca Holmes (sitting in the soapbox) and Tony Carter (far right, standing) with students and trainee mechanicsTutors Peter Hallam (second from left), Rebecca Holmes (sitting in the soapbox) and Tony Carter (far right, standing) with students and trainee mechanics (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Engineering student Sohail Zaman added that the project has been valuable.

“I’ve learned how to not be an idiot, if I’m honest!” the 18-year-old from Manningham laughed.

“Because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll probably break your fingers.

“We’re like a family here, and it’s good for our future – one day, I want to build and fix aeroplanes.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Sohail Zaman hard at workSohail Zaman hard at work (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Tyrese, who is from the Tyersal/Sutton area, is also thinking ahead.

“This is going to help me in the future,” he said.

“If anyone wants to do welding, I’d say don’t be scared – come forward and give it a go.”

Team leader John Hughes said he is “massively proud” of the students.

“They’re volunteering their own time and putting in extra effort,” he said.

“Not a lot of people knew about last year’s challenge, as it was a new event, but this year I think a lot more will go, and it will hopefully get bigger in the coming years.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Student Daniel Naylor in actionStudent Daniel Naylor in action (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Tutor Rebecca Holmes, from Huddersfield, said she is looking forward to the day.

“It will be great to see what the students have put together in action,” the 31-year-old said.

“It’s great seeing them progress. I’m fairly new to the teaching aspect, but it’s very rewarding.

“This has brought out the best in the students and will help to give them a good future.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Tutor Rebecca Holmes with two studentsTutor Rebecca Holmes with two students (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Welding fabrication lecturer Tony Carter was also full of glowing praise for the students.

“They’re really keen – my night classes are full,” he said.

“There’s a massive call for specialist welders, so I’m pushing for more training.

“I’ve worked all over – Australia, America, Africa – learning how to weld will let you travel the world.”