British Cycling and Manchester City Council have been working closely with a local charity, The Factory Youth Zone, to provide cycling opportunities for young people in the community.
The Factory Youth Zone, based in Harpurhey, is a charity-run youth centre that aims to provide anyone aged eight to 21 years with opportunities to make constructive use of their leisure time and choose a positive, independent lifestyle.
Through the work of British Cycling’s Go-Ride Coach, Joe Malik, young people at the centre have been provided with the chance to get involved with cycling, raise their aspirations and channel their energy in a positive way.
During the school holiday, Joe and the coaches from The Factory Youth Zone delivered a coaching programme at the National Cycling Centre, Manchester. The two-day programme provided 14 young people with the opportunity to ride the indoor BMX track, with many riders experiencing the sport for the first time.
The young people received expert coaching, focusing on techniques such as body position and pedal position, whilst also working on their pumping technique – with some riders going on to master the art of a manual, lifting their front wheel for the first time. During the second day of the holiday coaching programme, the young people developed their mountain bike skills on Clayton Vale skills area, before moving onto the trails themselves.
Following the success of the holiday coaching programme, the youth centre has gone on to register a club with British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme and will now benefit from the support of British Cycling on areas of club development, such as club structure, workforce and competitive opportunities.
Sport development and performing arts coordinator at The Factory Youth Zone, Chris Mason, said: “Cycling is an increasingly popular sport at The Factory Youth Zone. With support from British Cycling and Manchester City Council, we have been able to provide our members with some fantastic opportunities using world-class facilities. Through these experiences our young members have been inspired to develop their skills and continue attending the cycling sessions at the centre.”
British Cycling’s Go-Ride Coach, Joe Malik, said: “Working in partnership with The Factory Youth Zone and Manchester City Council allows us to give young people the chance to experience cycling and dedicate themselves to something they can be really proud of. We’ll now support the club, helping the riders to get involved with local Go-Ride Racing events and then progressing from there.
“Over 60% of riders on the Great Britain Cycling Team started out at Go-Ride Clubs, so you never know, we may see a future star emerging from the new club!”