While Britain’s best riders were topping the medal table at the UCI Cycling World Championships this summer, more than 5,000 children and young people were inspired to get on their bikes back home through Summer of Cycling club events.
With the support of Sport England, we invested £25,000 to empower 92 clubs to engage their communities through a calendar of pedal-powered experiences, from traffic-free group rides to entry-level races. The grants were used to cover the costs of event delivery and venue hire, making them more accessible for the local community, and of the participants 2,500 were taking part in British Cycling club activity for the first time.
In total 246 events took place between June and September, spanning the length of the country from Cornwall to Newcastle, and a range of cycling activities, such as grass track and cycle speedway taster sessions, guided road rides and mountain bike races.
Across the country, the campaign led to:
- 5,000 children and young people taking part.
- 2,500 children and young people being introduced to cycling clubs for the first time.
- Clubs benefitting from a 72% increase in membership by children and young people.
- Girls making up 48% of all participants.
The number of girls engaged through the campaign is testament to our ongoing work to reduce the historic gender gap in the sport across all age groups, after surpassing our 2020 target of getting one million women on bikes.
British Cycling’s Head of Sport, Anthony Gill, said:
"This year's Summer of Cycling enabled thousands of children and young people to participate in clubs and events across the country, with many discovering the joy of cycling for the first time. Many will have been inspired by the success of our Great Britain Cycling Team at the world championships in Scotland, and we’re hugely thankful to the club volunteers and coaches who have made each and every one of the 246 events possible."
Evolve Cycling Network - the cycling network for Muslim women – took children to a taster session at Lee Valley VeloPark. They said:
“This was the first time for the children riding on the velodrome. After being told about it and watching racing on the TV, they were finally able to try it out for themselves. They were all so excited and were constantly telling the coaches the names of pro riders who they were going to be like!”
After the efforts of Beth Shriever saw her crowned world champion for a second time in Glasgow, Torbay BMX Club in Devon saw an uptake of children inspired to try BMX racing. They said:
“We had several young people venture over from the skate park next door to experience what we do and really enjoyed interacting with the club riders. I feel we really bridged a gap, which is really good to see”.
And at Adrenaline Alley in Corby, children were treated to a training session by BMX freestyle park Olympic bronze medallist Declan Brooks, with riders of all abilities benefitting from his support and experience.
With clubs continuing to deliver session all year round, if you’re interested in finding a local activity near you, you can find affiliated clubs near you here.