British Cycling has teamed up with Knowsley Council to get local children on their bikes and find the next Liam Phillips or Laura Trott.
Back row, L to R: British Cycling Regional Development Manager Alex Schoular, Cllr Eddie Connor Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture, Andrew McCormick Knowsley Council Director of Community and Leisure, British Cycling National Development Manager Colin Humphreys, British Cycing Go-Ride Coach Phil Ball. Front row, L to R: Mollie Hall, Millie Smith, Rhian Fisher, Ella Guy, Holly Smith, Steven Fagan
The new partnership will see cycling coaching sessions hosted at schools across the borough and the development of new cycling clubs in the community.
It’s all part of Go-Ride, British Cycling’s youth development programme, which aims to introduce young people to the world of cycle sport.
A dedicated Go-Ride coach, Phil Ball, will be visiting schools across Knowsley to run progressive coaching sessions, as well as creating links to the cycling facility at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park. The coaching sessions culminate in Go-Ride Racing events at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park – British Cycling’s entry level racing programme for young people.
To celebrate the partnership, Councillor Eddie Connor, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture, together with representatives from Knowsley Council visited a Go-Ride session at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park this week, with pupils from Mosscroft Primary School taking to their bikes on the BMX track.
British Cycling Go-Ride Coach, Phil Ball, said: “The coaching sessions provide a fun way to introduce children to the sport of cycling in traffic-free environments. These are not just a taster sessions, it’s about giving the children the opportunity to really get into the sport and develop their skills as a bike rider each week.
“There is a cycling club in the area called Knowsley BMX Club, which is growing in numbers. We’ve also established a BMX Youth Club, so the aim is for the pupils to progress into a club, if they’re keen to continue cycling and training regularly.”
Phil has already started working with four schools in Knowsley and looks forward to working with more.
British Cycling’s Director of Coaching, Education and Development, John Mills, said: “We are experiencing an unprecedented boom in cycling, with our elite athletes on the world stage inspiring participation at grassroots level. We’re thrilled to partner with Knowsley Council, to give children and young people in the area the chance to get involved with what is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK.
“In addition to providing children with the opportunity to progress into a local cycling club, the Go-Ride programme also feeds into the Olympic Talent programme, so there is a chance we might find our next Liam Phillips or Laura Trott!”
Councillor Eddie Connor, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Community and Culture added “As part of Knowsley’s Cycling Strategy, we are encouraging as many of our residents as possible to take advantage of the fantastic cycling facilities we have here in Knowsley. The Go-Ride programme is yet another example of innovative ways we are achieving this, which also provides a fantastic opportunity for our young people to progress their bike skills and confidence.”
The aim of Go-Ride is to make the sport of cycling accessible to children of all ages, abilities and social backgrounds, providing under 16s with a clear pathway from playground to competition. Go-Ride activities are delivered by qualified British Cycling coaches in schools, community cycling clubs and at cycle sport venues.
Over 60% of the elite riders on the road to Rio, have developed from the Go-Ride programme. Notable riders who have achieved great success after progressing from a Go-Ride club include Olympic champions, Jason Kenny, Ed Clancy and Laura Trott, and World Champions, Becky James and Mark Cavendish, amongst others.
The two cycling clubs host coached sessions every Tuesday evening at the BMX track at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park. The BMX Youth Club runs a session from 5pm to 6pm, followed by Knowsley BMX Club’s session from 6pm to 8.30pm. Additionally, Liverpool Century Cycling Club hosts sessions on the outdoor velodrome at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park, every Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm.
The opportunity to get involved with the Go-Ride programme is available to schools in Knowsley for free, as part of the partnership. To find out more, please contact Phil Ball on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the Go-Ride programme nationally, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride.