British Cycling and The Football Association (FA) have joined forces to get more women involved in their respective sports, both governing bodies announced today, in a launch involving female track cycling stars and England Women players.
Kick Start Your Ride is an initiative from the two governing bodies to encourage more women to cycle to matches. It includes organising guided Breeze bike rides for women attending England Women’s World Cup qualifiers, FA Women’s Super League (WSL) matches and The FA Women’s Cup Final.
Great Britain Cycling Team stars Jess Varnish and Vicky Williamson launched the initiative today at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester alongside England women’s internationals Gemma Bonner and Fara Williams.
The initiative will begin at England’s next FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifier against Montenegro, at the AMEX Community Stadium in Brighton on Saturday 5 April.
Olympian Jess Varnish said: “It’s easy to get into a routine of getting in the car to drive to events like football matches. However, we want to see more women try something different by getting on a bike to ride to the games.
"Breeze rides are led rides with other women and so they are the ideal way to build confidence and are a great way of socialising.”
England star Fara Williams, said: “I’ve always enjoyed cycling since I was young, so I’m really pleased to see an initiative like this being launched around women’s football.
"We see lots of families at England and WSL games so it’d be great if some of them can travel down on bikes together to the Montenegro game in Brighton next weekend.”
Commenting at the launch British Cycling’s women’s network project manager Natalie Justice said: “This is about two sports coming together to inspire women to try something new.
"The opportunity to go on a group bike ride with friends, mums, daughters with the prize of getting to watch some exciting football at the end of it has all the ingredients of a fun day out and we hope to see hundreds of women getting involved over the coming season.”
Kelly Simmons, director of the national game and women’s football at the FA, said: “This unique partnership shows the benefits that two National Governing Bodies can bring when working together for one common aim – getting more women active.
“Participation levels are crucial for all sporting bodies and we’re delighted to work with British Cycling to get more women into both football and cycling.”
British Cycling will host the following bikes rides for women attending matches over the coming weeks:
- 5 April – England v Montenegro – FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 qualifier (AMEX Community Stadium, Brighton).
- 1 June – FA Women’s Cup Final (stadiummk, Milton Keynes).
- Rides to and from the Women’s Super League matches (details to be confirmed).
The scheme will be continued at a local level through the 18 FA WSL clubs, throughout the upcoming season.
Tickets are on sale for all matches and information can be found at http://ticketing.thefa.com.
Further rides will be announced shortly. Check out www.breezebikerides.com for more information.