02 March 2023
February saw us share some #CyclingLove with a week of features around a variety of individuals and all the voluntary roles they support. Quite simply, cycling wouldn’t happen without the dedicated time, energy and enthusiasm shown by thousands of people from across the UK. Thanks go to all those featured in our campaign and a huge well done to the following nominees for February’s Volunteers: In Focus.
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.
Name: Tim Whitaker
Role: Guided Ride Leader
Tim has delivered over 100 rides across South Yorkshire through both the Guided Ride and Community Group programmes in 2022, engaging with over 650 participants. Fond of a quick selfie on a ride, Tim is off to a flying start for 2023 with plenty of rides in the bag that qualify for the ‘Let’s Ride through Winter’ campaign! This takes Tim to over 300 rides since qualifying as a Ride Leader in 2019, a remarkable effort.
Tim's enthusiasm for cycling and his friendly character means that everyone feels welcome on his rides with feedback from participants always glowing. Here is a selection of comments from happy riders:
“Great ride today and fabulous company... well done to all involved. Thank you."
“Fabulous ride this morning.... Thank you, Tim, and everyone else who rode.”
“Thanks Tim and all, fab as always!”
British Cycling Values: Passion
Name: Clare Thompson
Role: Breeze Champion
Clare was persuaded to become a Breeze Champion by her friend back in April 2015, after attending rides as a participant. Initially Clare’s rides were a bit sporadic, fitting them in when she could around many other commitments, and often they were not well attended. However, she persevered! Setting up a Facebook group really helped to promote the rides, and she opted to plan rides more regularly. Not only have riders in the group gone from strength to strength, but Clare has met some lovely people and seen so much more of the countryside where she lives through volunteering!
The group has ridden in the sunshine, the rain, the dark, up (and down!) big hills, on road, off road, in the woods, on cycle ways, along tow paths, and a couple of riders have even fallen in the canal, but that hasn’t put them off.
Like many volunteers, Clare has considered giving up a few times when life all feels a bit busy, but the love and enjoyment getting out with the group has kept her going and recently for her 100th Breeze bike ride, the regular riders made a photo album from all the rides they have done together, a really touching gift showing their appreciation. Here’s what some of the group had to say about Clare:
“Clare has introduced me to so many car-free routes I never knew existed and she finds a new one almost every ride, fantastic.”
“Clare got me cycling, without her I would never have started and carried on. The group of friends I have met through the Breeze rides are great.”
“Not sure I would have got through lockdown without Clare and her cycle group. It's amazing how much your mental health can improve after just one ride with friends.”
“Clare kept me going during lockdown when we cycled together as much as we were allowed. We discovered local areas we’d never seen before! I’ve met some lovely friends through Breeze and achieved things I never thought I would.”
“Clare has made me feel looked after and cared about from the first time I met her. This has enabled me to grow and develop more than I could have imagined.”
British Cycling Values: Passion
Name: Paul Hardiman
Region: West Midlands
Role: Coach at Wyre Forest CRC
With the new Limitless programme which launched in February, Paul's club Wyre Forest CRC have successfully applied to become a Champion Club. Paul previously volunteered to run sessions at the Stourport Disability Hub and will be instrumental in the club's delivery of the Limitless programme moving forward, where the club are looking to run more sessions to welcome more and more riders to take part.
Paul coordinates extra volunteer support for the sessions and is very welcoming toward having young volunteers on-board to help, such as those completing the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers & Duke of Edinburgh Award. This helps ensure the next generation are comfortable, confident and willing to give back to the sport.
Some of the comments received about the sessions Paul runs really demonstrate how valued they are by those taking part, and their friends and family.
"Thanks to the team for this morning, my dad really enjoyed it.”
"Fabulous morning, thank you to all the volunteers.”
"Fantastic event. Thanks for putting this on.”
You can stay updated with the sessions that Paul & Wyre Forest CRC provide by clicking the link below.
British Cycling Values: Passion, Unity
Name: Anthony Jones
Role: Club Coach at Velo Myrddin in Carmarthen
Over the past decade Anthony has helped develop local riders in Carmarthenshire through training sessions, chain gangs, club rides on the weekend as well as offering advice, guidance, and support with equipment queries. The number of talented riders he has helped bring through is absolutely amazing.
Ella Barnwell, track and road cyclist, multiple British Champion and Wales competitor at last year’s Commonwealth Games told us - "Tony (Anthony) has motivated and supported me throughout my development as a cyclist. He has been part of many National titles and European medals over the years and I will forever be grateful for his support."
Well done to Tony for helping so many people develop and achieve their goals!