Cycling brothers Dean and Russell Downing’s cycling club, Out of the Saddle, is going from strength to strength and is now concentrating on helping cycling talent of the future.
Out of the Saddle now has 25 members within the UK
The club started in February with a view to organising some different types of events in aid of charities that were important to members. So far, Out of the Saddle has organised two road races, a Rollapaluza roller racing event, a sportive with Claremont Sports Medicine Hospital and the popular end of season charity auction. In 2011, the club has raised nearly £13,000, which is split across the charities they support. The 2011 charities are the Danny Porter Foundation, CRY UK and MSA Trust.
The club now has 25 members within the UK. Most members are actively involved in raising money and promoting the club ethos. With brothers Dean and Russell Downing acting as popular role models in the local area, the club has decided to focus its attention on helping the talent of the future realise their enjoyment for cycling and get valuable advice.
John Smith, Club Secretary, said: “I’m really excited about where we are going with the club. At the outset it was our plan not to be just a racing club, but to be a club that welcomes and engages all family members; cyclists and non cyclists.”
One of the newest members, Ben Werth, has been taking his British Cycling coaching qualification along with Dean Downing, and is going to be volunteering at youth coaching evening in the South Yorkshire area. He said: “To become involved in such a proactive club was an opportunity too good to turn down. I'm looking forward to working with Out of the Saddle as 'the’ club that all junior and youth cyclists want to join.
“The combination of my enthusiasm, the clubs infrastructure and Dean and Russell's experience creates the perfect environment for our next generation of riders to learn how to ride, race and socialise together. If you aspire to become the next Downing, Swift or Cavendish we look forward to welcoming you to Out of the Saddle."
Dean and Russell Downing have always been very keen to promote youth riding in the area, and are now encouraging new youth riders into the Out of the Saddle club.
Russell Downing, Team Sky, said: “The club is very close to home and brings back great memories of my youth spent cycling. Cycling at this young age is all about enjoying it and supporting this will allow a fun and inclusive atmosphere. Who knows, maybe a star of the future will join this club and get some valuable advice."
He continued: “It will bring great pleasure to all of us to see young cyclists learning and having fun on the bike as I did all those years ago.”
Planning for 2012 is underway to take youth riders to several of the national youth series throughout the UK along with specific youth training.
For more details on the club please see www.outofthesaddle.org.uk.