At the end of a year which has seen British riders enthral the nation from Tokyo, top podiums at world championships and inspire the nation to get on their bikes, British Cycling Chair Frank Slevin believes the organisation will continue to go from strength to strength in 2022.
The Great Britain Cycling Team topped the cycling medal tables and returned as the most successful British sport from both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and in opening this year’s Annual Review, Slevin paid tribute to Performance Director Stephen Park for the work which he and his team have done to give Britain’s best riders the perfect platform to fulfil their ambitions.
“When I began as chair of British Cycling in 2018, we were asked some tough questions about our ability to maintain success at the highest level while supporting the wellbeing of the riders competing within our sport and, most specifically, for Great Britain.
“I was reminded of that when I watched Beth Shriever and Kye Whyte celebrate their gold and silver medals in Tokyo. Those images of Kye cheering his team-mate, and the sight of Beth laughing and chatting with her fellow competitors before taking her place at the top of the ramp, told the world that ours is a team at ease with itself as well as one which can win medals.
“It is a team which wins in the right way – by which we mean with integrity, with the well-being of riders as its highest priority, and with a mission to deliver inspiration for our communities which goes way beyond a medal.”
While the team’s Tokyo exploits dominated the headlines, closer to home the organisation has continued to support the grassroots through the challenges of Covid-19 and guide the sport towards a more prosperous and sustainable future.
In addition to welcoming Brian Facer to the organisation as CEO from London Irish, this year has also seen the launch a new strategy to 2024, a first long-term equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and a new City Academies initiative to widen access to the sport at all levels.
“The pandemic has presented incredible challenges for sport everywhere and we have not emerged wholly unscathed. However, we took early and decisive action, which has allowed us to weather the storm more capably than most and that action has set us on a path to a more focused organisation with clear priorities and targets for which I must thank all my colleagues on the Board and our passionate, committed staff.
“Achieving our targets and moving our sport into the next chapter of our history must see us draw on the best qualities of our sport – a commitment to innovation and a readiness to ensure progress is not blocked by an unimaginative adherence to custom. It is only by living up to those qualities that we can ensure British Cycling embraces a future in which we are more diverse, more inclusive and less burdened by the past. We can now look forward with well-founded optimism.”
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