Sixteen riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team have joined together to form the inaugural Rider Representative Commission (RRC) which will act as an advisory group to British Cycling in what is deemed to be another significant step forward in the improvement of athlete welfare within the National Governing Body.
Performance director Stephen Park explains: “The purpose of the RRC is to represent the views of the riders to British Cycling’s board, the Executive Leadership Team and Great Britain Cycling Team’s Senior Leadership Team.
"This will help to ensure that all areas of British Cycling can best support the riders’ needs, be directly informed about the rider experience and ensure the views of the riders are being heard with the relevant actions being considered.
“Ensuring athletes have a voice in the decision making process across all the Olympic and Paralympic sports is high on UK Sport’s agenda and I’m pleased we have been able make good progress in establishing our own commission.
“When I started in this role in May 2017, I was keen to implement a ‘leader-leader’ management style within the team where staff and riders feel more empowered and accountable for programme activities. In this regard, the RRC allows the riders to contribute to our strategic decision-making and have their voices heard on a wide range of topics.
“Essentially, the riders have been empowered to provide input on decisions that affect them, such as equipment design and provision; major competition planning and team selections to name just a couple of examples.
“It’s been great to see Pete Mitchell take on the role of chairman and engage with the riders from across the majority of the cycling disciplines to form this commission. With the support of UK Sport, the British Athletes Commission and our own Performance Lifestyle Advisors, we have been able to support the riders as they develop the RRC and they are now providing valuable insight into our decision-making processes.”
Great Britain Cycling Team’s Pete Mitchell, chair of British Cycling’s Rider Representative Commission, said: “The RRC is really important to us as riders and we’ve already seen some tangible improvements since its inception. However, what we all value the most is having a direct communication chain with the Great Britain Cycling Team Senior Leadership Team as we now feeling more connected with the operational running of our team.
“This year, we’re really focusing on setting up the commission, so there’s still some work to do around encouraging representation from across the disciplines and agreeing our terms of reference.
“We have a quarterly meeting where we run through a set agenda, and then we feedback to the Senior Leadership Team the week after. It’s a refreshing improvement to our team culture and has gone a long way to break down the ‘us vs. them’ mentality that many felt previously existed.”
Julie Harrington, British Cycling’s chief executive officer, said: “The Rider Representative Commission demonstrates further progression against our 39-point action plan to address the findings of the Cycling Independent Review.
“We now have an appropriate mechanism for athlete representation to the senior management, as well as an engagement process to hear and take account of the views of all athletes.
“I’d like to thank the riders who have agreed to be involved in the commission and the senior management for welcoming the initiative so openly as we strive to become a world leading governing body.”
British Cycling’ Rider Representative Commission 2017-8:
Katie Archibald (Women’s Track Endurance)
Elinor Barker (Women’s Track Endurance)
Alice Barnes (Women’s Road)
Sophie Capewell (Women’s Track Sprint)
Ed Clancy (Men’s Track Endurance)
Ellie Dickinson (Women’s Track Endurance)
Kian Emadi (Men’s Track Endurance)
Neil Fachie (Men’s Para-cycling Track Sprint)
Quillan Isidore (Men’s BMX)
Mel Lowther (Women’s Road)
Katy Marchant (Women’s Track Sprint)
Pete Mitchell (Men’s Para-cycling Track Sprint)
Ryan Owens (Men’s Track Sprint)
Helen Scott (Women’s Para-cycling Track Sprint)
Callum Skinner (Men’s Track Sprint)
Sophie Thornhill (Women’s Para-cycling Track Sprint)