Two female cycling coaches are among the latest cohort to be inducted to UK Coaching’s Women into High Performance programme.
Abbie Taylor and Lydia Walker are two of 15 coaches from across eight sports who have been identified as having the potential to transition into high performance coaching, and will be supported in doing so by the flagship programme.
Both are current British Cycling Go-Ride coaches, and will now join with the other 13 coaches to develop their skills, behaviours and knowledge to thrive and flourish within the high performance environment.
Lydia, who is based in Carlisle, said:
“I was really pleased to be selected by UK Coaching and have enjoyed the insight and personal learning from the initial seminars. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to develop my learning further and getting the chance to work with some very talented sportswomen.”
Lydia and Abbie’s selection for the Women into High Performance programme is another step forward for British Cycling’s women’s strategy, of which a key aim is encouraging more females to take up coaching.
Last October, British Cycling announced that 23% of all of its qualified coaches – across all disciplines – are female, compared to a cross-sport average of 17%.
Ensuring that these coaches see a pathway to the very top of the sport is also crucial, and the recent appointments of Emma Trott (Women’s Endurance Academy Coach) and Naomi Johnston (Junior Academy Coach) to the Great Britain Cycling Team have bolstered the number of female coaches working with the country’s elite riders.
Of the progress, British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Julie Harrington, said:
“It’s wonderful to see two of our promising female coaches given this opportunity. An important part of our women’s strategy is ensuring that women and girls see potential to progress in every area of cycling; the visibility of women in different roles within the sport is increasing, and that increased visibility will only help as we continue to address the historic gender imbalance within our sport.
“I wish both Lydia and Abbie the very best on the programme, and I’m sure that their success, along with that of the female coaches working at the very top of our sport, will continue to inspire.”
The success runs in line with British Cycling’s One in a Million campaign which supports and encourages women to choose cycling – at whatever level – by tackling the common negative perceptions preventing women from reaching their cycling potential. British Cycling’s wider strategy is to get one million more women on bikes by 2020: a target set in 2013.
For more information about the campaign and to explore routes into riding, racing and coaching, visit the women’s cycling hub.