Volunteers: In Focus - September 2022

Volunteers: In Focus - September 2022


Throughout 2022 we will continue to shine a light on the brilliant work our volunteers do for all forms of cycling.  We want to acknowledge the huge contribution made by a wide variety of volunteer roles in making cycling happen – quite simply, it wouldn’t happen without them.

If you think someone deserves a mention, get in touch on social media with your respective regional or national teams or via @BCCoaches on Twitter.

We want to say thank you to all volunteers who have supported cycling, at all levels. Without your enthusiasm and commitment, we could not deliver at the levels we do. Well done to all that have been nominated in September 2022. Thank you from everyone at British Cycling, and from our community.

Name: Christine Smith

Region: Wales                 

Role: Breeze Champion, Event Organiser

Christine's most recent accomplishment was organising the second Wales Women on Wheels sportive which saw money being raised for both St David’s Hospice and Ovarian Cancer Action. As well as her dedicated charity work, Christine also leads on several Breeze rides. In fact, to date she has led over 300 Breeze rides in and around Newport! Through Christine's dedication to cycling she has enabled many other women to begin enjoying the sport.

The South East Wales Breeze Coordinator said:

“Christine is a massive advocate for women's cycling in South Wales and has helped hundreds of women progress with their cycling and build confidence. The second Wales Women on Wheels sportive which took place this September was a great event with over 90 women taking part, some of whom had never taken part in a sportive before. She volunteers a huge amount of her own time organising the event and even ropes in her whole family to help on the day!”

Become a Breeze Champion

Become an Event Organiser

Name: Andrew Milner

Region: South East         

Role: Accredited Marshal Coordinator

Andy has been stalwart of the regional road racing scene in the South East region. Andy makes up 50% of the Accredited Marshal Scheme (AMS) coordinator team and has fulfilled his role with much proficiency over the multiple years he’s held the role. Andy has developed the delivery of AMS coordination since its inception in the region and regularly goes over and beyond his duties, happily conversing with officials, organisers, marshals, and trainee marshals alike. We spoke to several marshals in the region who told us “We’d be lost without him” and how its “always nice being paired with Andy on a junction”.

Andy will be sadly missed when he moves out of the region, but the South East’s loss will certainly be the Midlands gain. Andy has always been passionate about safeguarding road racing and seeing that it continues on a local level in the South East. He has not only been an exemplary coordinator in the region, Andy himself supports the clubs Surrey League Road races and is also principal organiser of the Farnham Town Centre crits.

The region and Phil (Cycle Sport Developer) are indebted to Andy’s service over the years and wish him the very best of luck with moving closer to his family.

British Cycling Values: Passion

Accredited Marshal Scheme

Name: Neil Lawford

Region: West Midlands

Role: Event Organiser, Club Volunteer

Neil has been a member of Lichfield City Cycling Club (LCCC) since 2002 and has been on the committee for the past 15 years. He started to help organise the annual racing series in 2007 and then in 2010 he became the lead organiser for all racing. The race series includes 5 youth races per season for ages from U8s to U16s and 3 adult races for ladies/Cat3/4s. For many years Neil has solely managed these races from beginning to end; from the entries via British Cycling, to setting up, overseeing the timing, coordinating the entire logistical element of the races to taking down and packing away the kit. His commitment to putting on these races has been unquestionable.

During Covid in 2020 and 2021 he was determined to be able to deliver the race series and implemented the necessary covid safe measures to ensure that the races could still go ahead. What is most remarkable, is that he also continued to lead on the race series despite undergoing treatment for a rare cancer in 2020. In Neil’s time as race organiser for LCCC he has provided over 120 races for riders of all ages and abilities. Without Neil’s drive to deliver these races, we have no doubt that they would not continue to happen. We are pleased to say that with some new blood on the committee, Neil is now much better supported and there is a healthy number of volunteers to help at these events. This does not take away the fact, that for many years Neil was very much the sole driving force behind ensuring these races were available and accessible to riders across the region.

Vicky Webb, Chair of Lichfield City Cycling Club, said the following, "Neil is undoubtedly passionate about cycling and bringing riders, of all ages, together to race. Over the years he has adapted the race series to meet demand and to ensure that all abilities can be accommodated (for example this year he ran an Adult Cat 4 only race due to popular demand). Aside from LCCC, Neil has also organised the Derby Track League since 2017 and the data from the British Cycling dashboard shows some impressive figures; 15,850 riders over 143 events. And even whilst compiling this email to you, Neil is volunteering at the European Transplant Games in Oxford!".

British Cycling Values: Unity, Passion

Lichfield City Cycling Club

 Name: Ann Shrimpton

Region: Central

Role: Breeze Champion

Ann trained as a Breeze Champion in March 2018 as she wanted to provide more opportunities for women to cycle in Milton Keynes. She has re-established the Milton Keynes Breeze network and Facebook page which had been dormant for several years, which now has over 400 followers (up from 150) and got in touch with a former Breeze Champion so there would be two leaders in the Milton Keynes area.

Since that time (notwithstanding the covid restrictions) they have established a new Breeze group which now consists of over 60 members and have been hosting regular rides – around 3 a month. During the pandemic/lockdown, along with other Breeze Champions, Ann led Breeze rides on Zwift and had Breeze ladies join from all over the country. Ann also completed a coaching qualification in April this year so she could have some formal training to support the informal coaching being provided by the Club and Group Developer in the area.

The Facebook group once re-established has gone from strength to strength, where they promote a positive image of their rides and use photos to encourage others. Several Breeze riders have gone on to achieve amazing things and join other local cycling groups; one of their ladies started riding with Breeze last year and has now cycled over 11,000 kilometres.

Ann hopes to inspire others that cycling is accessible and for everyone, and it's not about how fast you can go or how far you can go but you can just get out there and enjoy yourself. In addition to Breeze, Ann is also a leader in a local cycling group which has been a useful bridge for those women who are ready to take on longer and faster rides. Several have now had the confidence to join a cycling group following her encouragement. Ann is a passionate advocate and champion for women's cycling and has promoted women's only rides in her own cycling group to help them achieve a gender balance. They have been hugely popular and so have effectively established a great partnership between Breeze Milton Keynes and a local cycling group giving loads of opportunities for women in the area to cycle.

British Cycling Values: Passion

Milton Keynes Breeze network

Name: Nick Tarmey

Region: South

Role: VC Venta - Hill Climb Event Organiser

VC Venta hosted a CTT (cycling time trials) hill climb event on Sunday 18th September. Nick Tarmey stepped up for another year of organising the event up Old Winchester Hill which saw 25 riders take to the start line on a chilly but dry, sunny morning. Nick won the National 24 hour time trial Championships this year so it's no surprise that he has great precision and attention to detail, and that the club made good use of his skills to put on a great event.

Nick looked after the riders by laying out course directions, making it easy for riders to make it to the start line and back to HQ. He also looked after the volunteers to ensure they knew the running order of the day prior to the event. There was a mixture of youth, juniors, seniors, women and vets with some impressive efforts up the climb and it's great to see one event give opportunities to so many different levels. Nick was also main photographer for the event, capturing the rider’s efforts up the climb!

A volunteer from the event told us this,"...a huge thank you and well done to Nick Tarmey on another fantastic event. Those who know Nick even slightly will know that he is quite precise in his planning so it was no surprise when the volunteers received the race day schedule on WhatsApp about a week before the event, and the schedule showed Nick leading by example doing course set up and chalking arrows on the road from 4am. Yep, you read that right..... 4am. So when the first rider started, Nick had already been getting things set up and ready for five hours. On behalf of the club and I am sure all riders, a massive thank you."

British Cycling Values: Unity, Passion, Innovation

VC Venta

Name: Caitlyn Beardsmore

Region: East Midlands

Role: Young Volunteer, Coach

Caitlyn has been an integral figure to cycling in Nottingham at such a young age and shows maturity beyond her young years. At 15, she is coaching a year group at Abbey Road Primary School cycling club inspiring fellow students who have gone to secondary schools to come back and volunteer with an average attendance of 40-50 riders. A regular at the local cycling club’s youth sessions, she has engaged both successfully as a rider and coach while recovering from long covid in the earlier part of this year. Caitlyn is always looking to develop as a coach and has been regularly involved with sessions run by Nottingham’s Community Coach such as women's sessions and Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) sessions at Harvey Hadden cycle circuit.

Karl, British Cycling’s Nottingham Community Coach said: "Caitlyn has been an unbelievable asset to have. When I ask where she thinks a session should go, I often think she is reading my mind as it's never far off what I am planning. Her confidence this year has grown with such regular exposure to delivery and for such a young person is great to see. Club coaches have often highlighted how she is often more organised than them with spares and session plans! I look forward to seeing her continued coach development, even if she does often make me feel like if I'm not careful I'll be out of a job before long as she's doing such a great job already!"

British Cycling Values: Passion, Integrity, Unity

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