In July we saw Bradley Wiggins step onto the podium in Paris as Britain’s first ever winner of the Tour de France. This was followed immediately by continued Olympic and Paralympic success in front of the amazing home crowds in London. Only to be topped off in September by Lucy Garner retaining the Junior Women’s World Road Race title and Elinor Barker picking up the Junior Women’s World Time Trial title at the World Championships in Limburg.
However, nothing surprises me with the achievements we are witnessing at club level as I am fully aware of the tireless dedication that volunteers up and down the country are putting into the development of grass roots cycling.
With the ‘Olympic Effect’ in mind, we launched the Go-Ride Games concept early in 2012 as our way of supporting clubs to prepare for the increased levels of interest from young people looking to emulate their heroes on two wheels.
The success of the Go-Ride Games has been great with over 4,000 participants, although equally significant is the high-profile media interest which the programme attracted throughout the summer, signifying a growing acceptance of cycling as a mainstream sport for the masses.
The challenges keep coming though, and the focus for us now is to ensure that clubs are ‘geared up’ to be able to cater for all of these newcomers to the sport. With this in mind, we are already looking ahead to 2013 and how we can best utilise the Go-Ride Conferences to support you as volunteers. Similarly, we are working hard to make coaching courses readily available to ensure those who want to inspire the next generation can get started on the coaching pathway.
It’s also fair to say that the performances of our star riders have brought a significant change in the way cycling and cycle sport is perceived by the general public. Our job now is to make sure cycling stays at the forefront of the sporting landscape, to create a lasting legacy from London 2012.
Thanks once again for your support.
John Mils (Director Coaching, Education and Development)