26 October 2023
Throughout 2023 we will continue to shine a spotlight on the brilliant effort volunteers do for all forms of cycling. We want to acknowledge the huge contribution volunteers make to cycling and recognise the wide variety of roles undertaken to activate, support, lead, and deliver at all levels.
Each month, we are taking nominations from across the regions and home nations. 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.
As the days grow shorter, the weather turns and it perhaps gets that little bit more challenging to motivate yourself to get outdoors, we wanted to spotlight two people this month who are regular, committed volunteers across the club and event landscape. Well done to Craig and Bob who are this month’s Volunteers: In Focus!
Name: Craig Lyons
Role(s): Club volunteer at Seacroft Wheelers, Assistant Event Organiser
Craig is a selfless and dedicated volunteer at Seacroft Wheelers Cycling Club, putting on ride after ride and making brand new cyclists and newcomers to the club feel extremely welcome and at ease. Craig also volunteers at the club Time Trials and Cyclo Cross events and is super assistant event organiser for the Seacroft Women's road race. In years gone by this has had record numbers of entries due to Craig's inventive social media campaigns, seeking out women who may not have usually entered a race and made them feel empowered to do so. Craig also gives up his time to get the best price and quality kit for the whole club!
In addition to club volunteering, Craig was involved in the organising committee to launch the Women Race North (#WomenRaceNorth) road racing league for women in the North East, North West & Yorkshire regions. Craig runs the #WomenRaceNorth Instagram account and has been the driving force of this league to be successful and get off the ground. Without Craig, women's cycling in the North of England would not be in the place that it is today due to his unique way of empowering and encouraging females to give racing a go.
'"Without Craig, #WomenRaceNorth wouldn’t have succeeded like it did, but because of Craig's passion, hard work, and determination he has made the league become desirable and something people want to be part of." Joanne Rea, then North East Cycle Sport Developer
British Cycling Values: Passion, Unity, Innovation
Name: Bob Spencer
Role(s): Event Organiser, Treasurer
Bob has been a cyclist all his life and is a member of the Edgware Road Club. As an ex-racer he was known as a very prolific rider in his day. Bob was a member of the Central Region Board for many years, fulfilling the post of regional treasurer as well as being an active committee member.
West Thames Promotions (WTP) was formed over 20 years ago with the late Stuart Benstead, to coordinate and run regular racing on the then newly purpose-built Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in West London. It now runs a successful Tuesday night race series there. It promotes over 20 weeks of racing from April through to September. Bob has been involved since the facility was built in the late 1990's when just three or four people started to promote events, he then became treasurer and continues to carry out this role.
He does so much more in addition to this; he coordinates and confirms all the marshals every week, he ensures the prizes are made up for each of the weekly races and oversees sign on and registration. It’s a massive commitment every week and he is a constant within the team, which has grown to 15 volunteers to make these weekly events happen.
When he is not involved in cycling his other great passion is Bowls, he is the Vice President of Pinner Bowls club. He plays regularly and competes at county level.
“Bob is such an energetic person who I have known for probably 20 years, he has taught me a lot about controlling finances for events and about people. He has been the backbone of the Tuesday nights at Hillingdon for 30 years, a member of the Hillingdon User group as well.” Mark Doel, Central Region Sport Developer.
“Bob is such a valuable member of the West Thames Promotions team and is so respected by all that attend the events.” Chris Denman, Event Organiser WTP.
To still be involved after all these years shows Bob’s passion for the sport and to make himself available for 20 Tuesday nights annually means it rubs off on all the volunteers. He unites the team with his enthusiasm and commitment, setting an example to all! Well done, Bob!