British Cycling has teamed up with Bolton Council to get local children on their bikes and find the next Jason Kenny or Becky James.
The new partnership will see cycling coaching sessions hosted at schools across the area 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, Joe Malik, will be visiting eight schools across Bolton to run six progressive coaching sessions. The sessions culminate in a Go-Ride Racing event – British Cycling’s entry level racing programme for young people.
To celebrate the partnership, Councillor Tony Connell, Executive Member for Sport, visited the first Go-Ride Racing event this week, which took place at St Matthews CE Primary School on Kentford Road.
Joe Malik said: “The coaching sessions provide a fun way to introduce children to the sport of cycling in traffic-free environments, where the pupils can safely try the different disciplines, such as mountain biking and BMX.
“This is not just a taster session, 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 Go-Ride cycling club in Bolton, aptly named Bolton Hot Wheels, so the aim is for the pupils to progress into the club, if they’re keen to continue cycling and training regularly. We’re also hoping to establish new cycling clubs in the area as a result of the partnership.”
Joe has already started working with six schools in Bolton and looks forward to working with more.*
"Cycling is one of 16 priority sports in Bolton, so we are excited to be creating this partnership with British Cycling, which will see cycling grow."
Councillor Connell, Executive Member for Sport, Bolton Council
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 Bolton 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 Jason Kenny or Laura Trott!”
Cllr Connell, Executive member for sport, said: “Cycling is one of 16 priority sports in Bolton, so we are excited to be creating this partnership with British Cycling, which will see cycling grow. The council is committed to developing the sport with children and adults. Not only is cycling good for your health, it is also good for the environment as well.”
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 opportunity to get involved with the Go-Ride programme is available to schools in Bolton for free, as part of the partnership. To find out more, please contact Joe Malik on firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the Go-Ride programme nationally, please visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/go-ride.