A CYCLING student has taken her hobby to new levels with a big idea for little jerseys.

Students from the University of York came up with the idea to urge knitters around the world to create miniature yellow jerseys, and the scheme has been adopted by Harrogate Borough Council, who have asked volunteers to create jersey-themed outdoor displays along the Tour route.

Madeline Crosswaite is a third-year student in the Department of Education and helped develop the idea with fellow students Verity Washington, Gareth Tagger, Stian Kristoffer Jamessen and Nancy Saul.

She said: “It’s wonderful that Harrogate council took our idea and ran with it - and that so many people have been inspired to knit the jerseys.

“I’m not a knitter but as a cyclist myself I was familiar with the distinctive colours of the Tour jerseys, particularly the famous yellow jersey. It struck me there must be a way to use these colours in a decorative manner. During the Tour, I plan to be out there on the route cheering on the cyclists – but I’ll also be looking out for the jerseys."

A pattern for the mini-jerseys was designed by a local wool shop, and a plea issued for local knitters to pick up their pins. Almost 23,000 mini jerseys have been so far, with contributions from as far afield as Bermuda, Canada and Switzerland.

The colourful result of the student-led project is set for an audience of millions around the world when the decorative displays line the route of Tour stages around Harrogate on July 5 and 6.

Sarah Leith, volunteering project officer in careers said: “This is a brilliant example of the contributions our students can make to community projects.

“It’s such a simple but really creative idea which encapsulates some of the best elements of the Tour and Yorkshire. It has caught the imagination of knitters in the local community and further afield enabling thousands of people to be part of the Tour in a really fun and colourful way.”