A refreshed approach to our youth cycling accreditation programme
Over the past year we have been reviewing the Go-Ride club accreditation programme alongside our partners in British Cycling and Welsh Cycling. The introduction of our Minimum Operating Standards in Scotland, which 100% of clubs affiliating to Scottish Cycling in 2022 have complied with has also informed our thinking about the way forward for Go-Ride.
We know that across the network of clubs everyone is determined about creating positive first experiences of cycling, and this is particularly true within our network of clubs that cater for youth riders. Safe, progressive, and inclusive activity is the cornerstone of activity delivered in these clubs, and that will continue to be a strong priority for us going forward.
Go-Ride as a term has been used across a range of different products and services in recent years, so as we reset, we want to go back to reviewing what ‘Go-Ride’ is, and why we think it is so important for our sport to grow, develop by supporting the Go-Ride network of clubs.
Go-Ride is an environment. An environment in which positive relationships are fostered, skills for life are developed, confidence is built and great memories made!
The fundamentals of the programme that clubs deliver are clear:
- Clubs for Young People: Go-Ride Clubs offer a fun, inclusive and safe environment for riders under the age of 18. At the heart of Go-Ride activity is the opportunity for riders to progress whilst enjoying their cycling.
- Gives parents peace of mind: All Go-Ride Club volunteers are suitably qualified, including PVG checks and safeguarding training, and all Go-Ride activity is suitably risk assessed.
- Easy to get involved: Just like any sports club, the emphasis is on regular, local and affordable activities to make it easy to keep coming back and create a sporting habit for life.
- Creates champions: Many of our biggest cycling stars in Scotland started out at a Go-Ride Club. Cameron Mason, Isla Short, Mark Stewart and Jack Carlin, to name a few!
So what has changed?
- The introduction of our Minimum Operating Standards has raised the bar in what clubs now have in place with regards to both Governance and Wellbeing and Protection. The new standards sit at a level higher than that of what Go-Ride expected previously, and therefore the standards now supersede the previous expectations of Go-Ride.
- Go-Ride Club Accreditation will no longer be a separate process requiring clubs to compile evidence and submit this to us for assessment. Instead, club compliance will be assessed at the point of affiliation each year. And since all clubs have achieved 100% in 2022, this should be a smooth process. There will be a couple of additional questions attached to affiliation just to confirm that clubs continue to manage their sessions in safe and planned way, but this should take no more than a few minutes.
- Go-Ride activity will now recognise a wider variety of cycling opportunities for young people. From 2022, Go-Ride activity can now include group rides (for example, club runs or trail rides). To help your club introduce and support this type of activity, we have a useful guide which will assist you in meeting the standards required of safeguarding, structure and risk assessment. This can be read below.
If coached sessions in a traffic free environment is what your club does, then we continue to encourage and support this activity, the opportunity that this provides for young people is invaluable. We recognise that coaching sessions are integral to all riders development, including their bike handling skills and to gain confidence in a traffic environment. This new addition to Go-Ride activity is simply an option and its important that clubs only deliver what they are comfortable with.
The Club Development team are on hand to support any clubs that have any questions or require any further guidance on their activities.
So what are the benefits of being a Go-Ride club?
- First and foremost we want Go-Ride to be recognised as that safe, progressive and fun environment that Parents/Guardians can be confident will give their children great opportunities to develop their cycling
- Free Silver British Cycling memberships for seven of your club volunteers: 4 Coaches, 2 Wellbeing and Protection Officers and a Go-Ride Club contact. Contact your Club Development Coordinator for more details.
- Ability to deliver Go-Ride Racing – our grassroots racing offer which allows Go-Ride Clubs to run exciting and engaging events that we can be used to give riders their first experience of racing. We have a range of resources available to support this, including our Go-Ride Racing Handbook which can be read here. This provides lots of ideas for how events could be run across a range of disciplines.
- Opportunity to nominate young people from your club to be a part of our soon to be launched Young Ambassadors programme.
As we announce this refresh of the Go-Ride programme, we can also confirm that we have invested in equipment packs that Go-Ride clubs can apply for to host Go-Ride Racing events. These packs include over £500 of equipment including:
- Durable copy of the Go-Ride Racing Handbook
- Participation + podium medals
- Go-Ride Racing banner
- Plastic stakes
- Handy equipment bag that can be used to transport stakes around venues
More details on these packs can be found here and we also encourage you to stay tuned for a new promotional video of a recent Go-Ride racing event coming soon. We will also be profiling this event so you can understand the ins and outs of Go-Ride racing in action.