With the 2012 Olympic MTB course as a stunning backdrop, British Cycling successfully launched a brand new young volunteer programme at the weekend's Hadleigh Farm MTB International Event.
As reigning world champion Julian Absalon showed his class on the course, the British Cycling's Development team kick-started it's new initiative to find the race organisers of the future with the exciting launch of Racemakers.
Young Volunteers aged 14-18 assisted British Cycling staff with the staging of a day's Go-Ride Racing, which provides the opportunity of entry-level racing to novice cyclists.
The Racemakers were responsible for all areas of race planning, officiating and event logistics and they were a credit to the programme according to Andrew Chaston, British Cycling's National Development Manager for Clubs and Volunteers.
"It was a fantastic opportunity to see our new Racemakers programme launched in the incredible surroundings of elite competition," Andrew told British Cycling. "The world's top athletes will be competing for Olympic Gold at Hadleigh next year and for our young volunteers, it provided a great perspective of where their volunteering efforts can lead.
"The young volunteers proved great ambassadors for the new programme on the day as they grew into their roles and learnt a great deal about race organisation. They all contributed so much to the event and reinforced the link the programme has to the Olympic and Paralympic values.
"We're now looking forward to seeing how the individuals - and the programme alike - develop over time."
Racemakers will build on the success of the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers and help to encourage more young leaders to get involved in cycle sport. This is the first step into event volunteering for 14-18 year olds and may lead to further officiating courses to create support opportunities at national and international events.
Racemakers has been granted the prestigious London 2012 Inspire mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The programme combines a practical workshop with volunteering at a local club in preparation for planning and delivering supervised entry level bike races in school and community settings.
To get involved in the ‘Racemaker' Programme please contact Colin Humphreys or Andrew Chaston in the Go-Ride team on 0161 274 2070 or visit the Go-Ride contact page for further information.