British Cycling has today shared its support of a new report, Diversity in Cycling, ahead of its launch on 24 June.
Starting as a grassroots project that was sparked by a conversation between experienced road racer Andy Edwards and Black Cyclists Network founder, Mani Arthur, Diversity in Cycling - which will be shared by British Cycling to its network of volunteers, clubs and members - sets out to explore the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) cyclists taking up cycling as a sport for the first time.
The report includes contributions from over 60 male and female BAME riders and provides credible outputs and practical suggestions that we can all play our part in implementing. As the country prepares for its next landmark moment this September by hosting the UCI Road World Championships for the first time in 27 years, cycling must be shown as a sport and activity which is inclusive for all.
The latest figures from Sport England’s Active Lives Survey provide a sobering snapshot of the disparity in participation levels between different ethnic groups. Over two fifths (41%) of White British people surveyed had engaged with cycling in any form in 2017/2018, compared to around a third of people within the Black (35.8%) and South Asian (32.5%) communities.
Julie Harrington, British Cycling Chief Executive, said: “To truly transform Britain into a great cycling nation, we must strive to make a difference – not just for people who ride bikes, but for our communities, future generations and our country as a whole.
“A crucial part of this is for us to not only champion our greatest achievements, but to recognise where we may fall short. Whilst continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation, and there have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, the lack of diverse ethnic representation, and subsequent sense of belonging within cycling – for Black, Asian and ethnic minorities to reference this report – is clear.”