IDEALS programme connecting British Cycling coaches with international partners

IDEALS programme connecting British Cycling coaches with international partners

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Coaching can be incredibly rewarding especially when working with young people. Good cycling coaches provide riders with exciting, challenging and structured environments which will support them through their life as a cyclist.

The benefits of cycling go beyond the sporting arena. That’s because riding a bike is a form of transport as well as a recreational activity. Cycling promotes a healthy lifestyle, and can improve the self-discipline, confidence and self-esteem of those who participate.

In the UK, British Cycling coaches and clubs contribute to one of the best cycling infrastructures in the world. Recognising such contributions, UCI President Brian Cookson pledged to support the worldwide development of cycling. Coaching and Education is delighted to be supporting Brian’s pledge through partnership with UK Sport’s International Development through Excellence and Leadership (IDEALS) programme.

The IDEALS programme is designed to connect the UK with international partners, help develop quality sport and enrich lives through sport worldwide. Earlier in the year we reported on Richard Shepherd’s trip to Namibia as part of this project. Richard supported the Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF) and the Physically Active Youth (PAY) programme in the development of cycling.

There are clear similarities in the benefits of cycling in both the UK and Namibia, relating to health, transport and sporting agendas. Riding a bike is perceived positively, giving people the chance to socialise and be part of a community.

In Namibia, challenges such as HIV and low economic development  can have a negative impact on young people’s prospects. The IDEALS project aims to empower   young people and give them the opportunity to contribute to their community, regardless of their age or gender.

As part of their Sport Development and Sport Coaching Programme, Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU) will be sending students over to Namibia and Mozambique later in the year. British Cycling has trained seven of these students, taking them through their Level 1 Award in Coaching Cycling; thus enabling them to contribute to the cycling programmes in Africa.

Six of the seven coaches were female and all were all aged 21 years or younger.  This is particularly positive in the context of IDEALS as it shows young people taking an active role in driving forward community programmes.

Shannon Bates a learner on the course said “The Level 1 course will be hugely beneficial when we travel to Namibia.  Delivering inclusive and engaging sessions is important for every coach, but more so for us because we’ll be coaching in an unfamiliar environment with limited resources.  We’re all looking forward to getting started”.

Joe Malik the course tutor, ex-LJMU student and British Cycling Go-Ride coach will continue to guide and support these students and will travel to Namibia later in the year to support IDEALS.

We will keep you updated on how the IDEALS programme develops throughout the year.