Sports Minister Hugh Robertson visited the National Cycling Centre in Manchester as a special guest of British Cycling today to see first-hand how the organisation is continuing to develop cycling in Britain.
"The sport is in rude health in this country and I am encouraged that British Cycling is doing all it can to keep up the momentum."
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson
The Sports Minister was given a tour of the facilities at the NCC by British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake and introduced to athletes who are in training for the upcoming Track World Cup in Manchester in November.
Robertson was also met by members of British Cycling’s Coaching and Development team to observe youngsters taking part in a Go-Ride session on the indoor BMX track, which was opened in 2011.
Robertson was then taken on a tour of the training facilities of the Great Britain Cycling Team, where he was met by coaches Paul Manning and Tom Stanton, before finally meeting several Sky Ride Leaders who outlined their passion for cycling.
British Cycling used the visit to highlight the ongoing work that is helping grow cycling nationwide as well as describe special projects such as the ‘Get Women Cycling’ programme, which is helping to inspire one million more females to get on their bikes.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport, said: “It’s great to be back at the Manchester Velodrome to catch up with British Cycling on its plans for both increasing participation further and talent development. The sport is in rude health in this country and I am encouraged that British Cycling is doing all it can to keep up the momentum.”
British Cycling Chief Executive, Ian Drake said: "It is a pleasure to welcome the Sports Minister to our home here in Manchester and he joins us at an interesting time in the organisation’s history.
“Six months into our four-year funding cycle and at the beginning of the latest Olympic phase, we are making good progress in our ongoing objectives to grow cycling at all levels.
“It has been a successful summer with riders such as Liam Phillips and Rachel Atherton becoming World Champions in their respective disciplines, and Chris Froome winning the Tour de France, and growth continuing to come in all levels of participation, particularly with more women and 14-25-year-olds taking to their bikes.
“This is against a backdrop of growing membership base which is up to 82,000 from 60,000 this time last year.
“It is exciting times for both the sport and the organisation and I would like to thank Hugh Robertson for his time, and his continued support.”