Volunteers: In Focus - December 2022

Volunteers: In Focus - December 2022

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Published 22 December 2022

As we draw the year to a close, we wanted to give one final shout out for the brilliant work volunteers do to support all forms of cycling.  We want to acknowledge the huge contribution made by a wide variety of volunteer roles in making cycling happen – quite simply, it wouldn’t happen without them.

If you think someone deserves a mention, get in touch on social media with your respective regional or national teams or via @BCCoaches on Twitter.

We want to say thank you to all volunteers who have supported cycling, at all levels throughout 2022. Without your enthusiasm and commitment, we could not deliver at the levels we do. Well done to those nominated this month!

Name: John Beggs, Jon Goodge, Phil Jemmison, VC Deal volunteers for East Kent CX.

Region: Southeast

Roles: Cyclo-X Commissaires & Race Organising Club

The amazing teamwork of these officials working with the East Kent CX volunteers at VC Deal to deliver a safe, fun, challenging and rewarding event for the riders on a completely frozen and then wet day goes a long way to inspire others to volunteer and give back to the sport. Due to the ice on the Lydden Hill Motor Racing circuit, the event team had to plan and implement a new circuit at short notice. These things can really make or break an event, but this team ensured activity could happen, and happen safely.

Some of the feedback from the day included:

“Thanks guys! Great job in tough conditions!"

"Thank you, awesome job!!"


British Cycling Values: Passion, Unity

Trainee Commissaire courses

Name: Ade Ravenscroft

Region: West Midlands

Role: Go Ride Coach with Beacon Cycling Academy

Ade consistently runs cycle coaching in South Birmingham, often serving a community of people who do not have regular access to bikes and is very mindful of the barriers to those getting into the sport. Though competition is not everything in the sport, Beacon have had 12 riders race this year, and three quarters of these have raced for the first time, which is testament to the quality and encouragement of the coaching Ade provides. He has also organised various cycle sport events including the regional Grass Track Championships which attracted 40+ entries across all age categories and a round of the West Midlands Cyclocross League. It is incredible to see the work Beacon & Ade deliver often without the provision of a fixed venue.

The West Midlands Regional team wanted to pass on their sincere thanks to Ade for helping them pilot a programme of coaching and giving great feedback about the workings of it.

British Cycling Values: Passion

Beacon Cycling Academy

Name: Izzy Bishop

Region: Central

Role: Young Volunteer at Sprockets CC

Izzy has always been super helpful and has blossomed since becoming a Young Volunteer. Her coaching skills are shaping incredibly well; she’s super patient and has a lot of knowledge to share about cycling techniques which she does in such bubbly positive way!

Catherine Ruffley, Club and Group Developer, said:

"The last time I worked with her coaching our youngest riders I was thoroughly impressed with how she used her initiative and adapted the session to suit the riders and ensure crowd control."

Just last month Izzy completed her training and is now one of the club’s Level 1 coaches, helping to coach the Rascals (six to eight year olds) group. 

British Cycling Values: Passion

Sprockets CC

Get into Coaching

Name: Ben Fox

Region: Wales

Roles: Go Ride Club Coach, Young Ambassador, Welsh Cycling Youth Council member

Ben has been a member of Gower Riders since 2012 and over the past couple of years has developed into one of the most respected riders, volunteers, and club members in the club by virtue of his friendly personality and willingness to help the younger members. Since 2018, Ben has been a Welsh Cycling Young Ambassador, a role that he takes very seriously and undertakes with great enthusiasm. He helps with Gower Riders events, such as Welsh Cyclo-Cross league races and has been involved in the organisation of the club's annual awards night. Many times, Ben has been a bike marshal for many athletics events in Swansea and Llanelli, such as Swansea Bay 10K, Swansea Half Marathon and Llanelli Half Marathon. Ben has confidently given presentations about the benefits of cycling to local scout and community groups in his local area.

He has also taken on several personal cycling challenges, including long distance charity rides as well as climbing Mont Ventoux and competing in the Junior Paris-Roubaix race within days of each other. Ben raised over £2000 for a charity close to his heart, this being Bobath Children’s Centre in Cardiff. Ben rode from Birmingham to Swansea in just two days.

Alongside some of his fellow Young Ambassadors, he regularly helps at the club's Go Ride sessions, often leading the pre-session safety checks, warm-ups, and specific elements of sessions. Ben has speech and language difficulties, which means he finds communication difficult, which proves difficult when at school but flourishes when he’s cycling or part Gower Riders or the Welsh Cycling Young Ambassadors.  However, he does not let this define him and strives to pursue his love for cycling, as well as supporting, encouraging, and helping others to learn.  Ben has also supported a friend with a disability to learn to ride a bike, demonstrating the confidence to break down the learning so his friend could learn and be successful in riding his bike. He also regularly supports other young club members with disabilities including autism and additional learning needs.

Ben has seen some team success in recent years, with Gower Riders, winning Junior Club of the Year in the Swansea Sports Awards and Go Ride Club of the Year at the Welsh Cycling Awards.  He has also been a finalist in the Inspiring Young Person of the Year category at the Welsh Cycling Awards, Swansea Sports Awards and Wales Online Community Awards. In simple terms, Ben continues to help get more children on bikes, and his love of and enthusiasm for cycling are plain to see.

Ben has also qualified as a level 1 cycling coach and continues to be active as a club coach, on a weekly basis, after turning 18 in September 2022. More recently, Ben has actively supported the club in the delivery of some hugely important and inspirational sessions for the Swansea Young Carers Service in Swansea, funded by the Geraint Thomas Cycling Trust. The project has provided an invaluable opportunity to young carers to be given small amount of time in the week to have some fun, and to have a break from their caring responsibilities.  Ben was central to the success of this project and certainly helped inspire the young carers who were involved in our club activities.

Gareth Govier - Head Coach, Gower Riders said:

"Ben is such a valuable club member here at Gower Riders.  I have known Ben since before the club started back in September 2012 and from our very first session through to today, it was clear that he was going to be a hugely respected and much liked rider, volunteer, and club member here.  In recent years Ben has been incredibly active as a Welsh Cycling Young Ambassador and it has given me great pleasure to see him develop in that role and to go on to qualify as a Level 1 coach and subsequently be elected on to the Welsh Cycling Youth Council.

I look forward to many more years of volunteering alongside Ben and we're confident that he will be central to the long-term growth and success of the club."

Tim Matthews - Young Ambassador, Coach & Training Lead, said:

“Having taken over the Welsh Cycling Young Ambassador programme earlier this year, the more I hear about Ben Fox the more I am impressed by this young man.  Then to have the privilege to watch him in action and meet and talk to him and the other Young Ambassadors at Gower Riders was fantastic.  His tireless commitment to cycling and his passion to inspire others to enjoy the sport and pastime he enjoys, is just humbling. I am looking forward to his continued development as he continues his journey as a Young Ambassador and his enthusiasm, he will bring to the Youth Council, in getting the Welsh youth voice heard."

British Cycling Values: Unity, Passion, Innovation, Integrity

Young Ambassadors

Gower Riders