British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake has welcomed the latest results from Sport England’s Active People survey as “our legacy in action” after a summer which saw Britain’s first Tour de France winner and extraordinary success at London 2012.
The results released today show that over 200,000 more people are cycling at least once per week than were in October 2011. British Cycling is exceeding the ambitious growth target set by Sport England four years ago by over 75,000. This brings the total number of people in England now cycling at least once per week to just under two million.
Drake said: “With almost two million people cycling once a week following a summer of unprecedented cycling success, this is our legacy in action.
“British Cycling has set new standards in elite sport and, with these latest figures from Sport England, we can celebrate gold medal results in grassroots participation.
“These figures are reward for the hard work done over the last four years by British Cycling, Sport England, our principal partner Sky and our local government partners.
“After Beijing, British Cycling set out to inspire a new audience to get involved in cycling at all levels. We have programmes for all ages and abilities – from families who want to cycle for fun, to young people aspiring to be the next Bradley Wiggins or Laura Trott. The great results we’ve seen today are also critically down to the dedication of all our members, our regions, volunteers, coaches, clubs and leaders - without whom our sport wouldn’t function.”
Tricia Thomson, Director of Cycling, Sky said: “The results of Sport England’s Active People survey echo the results we have seen out on the streets of Britain over the summer with more people drawing inspiration from the incredible accomplishments of the elite British cyclists. We’re proud to have played our part through our support of British Cycling, creation of Team Sky and Sky Ride to provide real inspiration to get people cycling and we look forward to seeing even more Brits on their bikes in the future.”
“British Cycling has set new standards in elite sport and, with these latest figures from Sport England, we can celebrate gold medal results in grassroots participation."
British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake
Today’s results also show that there has also been a significant increase in organised participation. British Cycling and Sky's Sky Ride initiative, the rise in sportives and a healthy racing calendar are attracting more people to become regular cyclists. In the last four years, there has been a 29% increase in the number of organised competitive events and a 145% increase in the number of non-competitive events on offer from British Cycling.
The number of women cycling has risen dramatically in the last 12 months – almost 63,000 more women are cycling regularly. British Cycling’s Breeze programme offering female-only led bike rides has contributed to this rise, as have the inspirational performances by our female cyclists this year.
Participation amongst the number of people with a long term disability has also increased by almost 15,000 in the last 12 months.
The latest tranche of results from Sport England’s Active People survey covers the 12 month period from October 2011 to October 2012, and measures participation rates for all sports.
Since 2009 British Cycling and its Principal Partner Sky have been working together to get more people cycling. Key achievements include:
- British Cycling and Sky have achieved their ambitious target of getting one million more people cycling by 2013 one year early. In October 2012, the results of an independent survey of over 10,000 people showed that one million more people are now cycling at least once a month.
- Since 2009, British Cycling and Sky have organised 49 mass participation traffic-free city centre events attended by almost 650,000 people.
- Over 5,000 free community bike rides for anyone to join, including women-only rides, have been set up and 1,500 Ride Leaders have been trained to deliver them.
- A social network for cycling – Social Cycling Groups – has been created via www.goskyride.com with over 13,000 people now setting up their own groups and rides.
- Over 100,000 young people have been engaged in our Go-Ride programme over the past four years.
- British Cycling also works in partnership with 45 local authorities to promote and deliver cycling opportunities.