British Cycling and the Bicycle Association have today announced a new relationship, which will benefit the growth of youth cycling in the UK.
The Bicycle Association has become an official partner of British Cycling’s youth development programme, Go-Ride. The Go-Ride programme provides a fun and safe way for young people to experience cycle sport, with over 300 Go-Ride Clubs in communities across the country.
The funding commitment from the Bicycle Association will help to extend the reach of the Go-Ride programme and provide even more opportunities for young people to sample the various cycle sport disciplines and start enjoying one of the fastest growing sports in the UK.
The cycle industry’s Bike Hub levy fund, led by the Bicycle Association, has been raising funds to safeguard the future of cycling since 2004.
Phillip Darnton, the Bicycle Association’s executive director, said: “It’s crucial that young people are given the opportunity to learn to ride their bikes safely and to have fun doing so. If children don’t have the chance to learn by their early teens, they will probably never cycle in their lives. That’s why the Bicycle Association is so pleased to support British Cycling and its Go-Ride programme, and to become the Industry Sponsor of British Cycling.
“Go-Ride is the perfect way of engaging with thousands of youngsters across the UK, in their local communities, and inspiring them to enjoy cycling, reinforcing what is an essential life skill. Some of these youngsters, of course, will go on to become the medal winners of the future."
The Go-Ride programme provides the first step onto the Olympic Talent Development programme, with over 60% of the current funded riders on the Great Britain Cycling Team having progressed from Go-Ride Clubs.
British Cycling’s director of coaching, education and development, John Mills, said: “The Go-Ride programme has experienced a high level of growth in recent years, which reflects the increase in cycling participation at all levels.
“We are thrilled to receive funding and support from the cycle industry, which will further strengthen the programme and help us to provide more opportunities for the next generation of cyclists.”
The Go-Ride programme is supported by Go-Ride Racing, which is a calendar of entry-level, local racing events that help young riders to make the transition from school or club coaching sessions into inter club and open regional competition. It also incorporates the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers, which recognises the efforts of young volunteers in clubs and helps them to achieve bronze, silver and gold volunteering awards.