Slipstreamers star in Mayor's show
30th September 2010
Source: Hillingdon Slipstreamers
From left to right: Brian Wright (Club President), Alison Grant (Club Chairperson), Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), John Gunn (Club Vice-Chairman)
The efforts of volunteers at Hillingdon Slipstreamers cycle club have been publicly recognised by the Mayor of London with a Health and well-being Award.
The capital-based club provides Under 16's the opportunity to cycle and was recently selected by the London Health Commission as one of two winners of the Mayor's Award for Active Travel in partnership with Transport for London, and will receive £1000 and a film crew for a day as their reward.
The Award - presented by Boris Johnson - topped the bill in a ceremony at the City Hall where five community projects were recognised for their contribution to health and well-being in their respective local area.
For John Gunn, vice-chairman at the Go-Ride Clubmark club, it represents a more than welcome boost to the club's coffers, but also a chance to reach more kids in the area through the positive publicity.
"It was wonderful, fantastic. I was so pleased. We've put a lot of work into it," he told British Cycling. "The really good thing is the recognition of hundreds of hours we all as volunteers have put into it.
"We've got about 50 helpers now and even if they just do their couple of hours on a Saturday morning, it's great and adds up to hundreds of hours over the committee members and everyone else - it's just great recognition really."
The Slipstreamers now have about 260 members are a cycling development club which aims to teach youngsters all disciplines of the sport through British Cycling qualified coaches and has seen numbers grow dramatically since forming in 1998.
It was Gunn who started the process back in May, with an initial application for one of the night's lesser awards. However, in August, the club official heard that his application had been moved to the main category, and that the Slipstreamers - formed in 1998 - had been nominated alongside ‘Wheels for well-being' - a Lambeth-based charity enabling disabled people to cycle safely as a form of transport and off the road in parks and green spaces.
John explained: "Obviously the Active Travel bit comes into it, because the kids are all using their bikes, not just for the sport, but because they want to learn to ride safely for commuting to school and also I made quite a big play of the fact that a lot of parents come down, and also get back on their bikes and then they start commuting.
"It just gets people back into cycling and using their bikes as an alternative means of transport as well as for sport and for fun."
London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, spoke highly of the club in his ceremony speech at the City Hall, which took place on Saturday, September 21.
"I've been terrifically impressed with the two winners of my Active Travel Award, so much so we were unable to decide between them and have given them both the award.
"These two groups exemplify what can be achieved by the hard work of local communities. Both groups are increasing skills and confidence of cyclists and are delivering a high quality product through trained volunteers."
John Mills, British Cycling’s Coaching, Education and Development Director, has also praised the efforts and achievements of the club’s volunteers.
“Hillingdon Slipstreamers are a great example of Go-Ride club and fully deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication to the sport.
“British Cycling is proud of their efforts in developing and engaging young people and on behalf of the organisation, I would like to congratulate Brian, John and Alison and all of the dedicated volunteers on their award.”