The organisers of this weekend’s UCI Track Cycling World Cup have announced the launch of a legacy programme for the event involving local schools in-and-around the city. The programme is supported by Scottish cycling hero, Sir Chris Hoy.
The legacy activity, which will be delivered by Scottish Cycling, the National governing body for cycling in Scotland, begins today where over a thousand local school children have joined their Olympic cycling heroes at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome to watch the first day of racing at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup. The opportunity for the youngsters to attend the event at no cost is aimed at inspiring and encouraging the next generation of children to get involved in cycling.
The programme will also involve a talent search initiative called Talent ID. The scheme will involve bringing two local schools (Whitehill and St Mungo’s) to the Velodrome for a four-hour session involving Watt Bikes, used by professional riders for training, skill tests and culminating with a track taster session.
The 60 pupils will also get to take part in the taster riding session on the track with experienced coaches on-hand to guide them and share expert advice. The coaches will use this activity to identify potential candidates for the Talent ID programme and select two squads to represent the school teams for the interschool competition.
The two squads will then have the opportunity to attend a series of two-hour coaching sessions where they will receive skills training and mentoring as they prepare for the interschool competition. The programme will be a catalyst for regular Talent ID programmes to provide a lasting legacy following the UCI Track Cycling World Cup.
Glasgow is playing host to the first major international track cycling event in the UK since London 2012 – the UCI Track World Cup – from 16 to 18 November.
Six-time Olympic Gold medallist, Sir Chris Hoy said, “A Track World Cup sell out in Glasgow is fantastic for the sport and its legacy. Following the GB team’s outstanding success at London 2012, and building on this legacy to Glasgow and through other British Cycling events taking place in the UK, I hope we can continue to inspire the next generation of track cyclists. Although I won’t be competing at the event, I’m looking forward to supporting the Glasgow schools legacy programme and I’ll be in the velodrome to cheer on the GB team.”
Craig Burn, Chief Executive of Scottish Cycling, said: “Scottish Cycling is proud of the lasting legacy the UCI Track World Cup will have on the city of Glasgow and the sport of cycling as a whole in Scotland. The Talent ID scheme is an exciting initiative to give youngsters the opportunity to get involved in the sport and who knows, the next Sir Chris Hoy may be among them.”
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director of British Cycling, said: "The UCI Track World Cup is the elite level of professional cycling and to see a thousand school children having such fun is a testament to the popularity of the sport. Cycling events play a crucial role in encouraging young people to get involved in the sport and legacy programmes such as this will ensure the sport continues to grow in popularity”.
The Glasgow event is the second of the three round UCI Track Cycling World Cup series. The three days of action will see the world’s leading track cyclists compete in front of sell-out crowds in the Olympic disciplines of Keirin, Individual Sprint, Team Sprint, Team Pursuit and Omnium, featuring seven of Team GB’s Olympic gold medallists. The event will also be broadcast on the BBC via red button, online and on TV across the three days.