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British Cycling Membership Hits 40,000 On Historic Day For Sport

British Cycling has signed up its 40,000th member, doubling its membership since 2007 in what has been a period of unprecedented growth for the national governing body. The milestone comes just one day after Mark Cavendish claimed a world title for Britain in the Men's Road Race in Copenhagen yesterday.

In April 2007, British Cycling membership was just at 20,000 members rising to 30,000 by May 2010 and has since catapulted to 40,000 in just over a year. This rapid growth has been boosted by the organisation's elite success since the 2008 Beijing Games and a host of effective grassroots initiatives that are converting the inspirational power of its athletes into thousands of newcomers to cycling.

From developing the sport in BMX, Mountain Biking, Track and Road to creating entry level cycling opportunities for people of all ages and abilities, through programmes such as Sky Ride, Breeze and Go-Ride, British Cycling is helping drive a cycling boom worth nearly £3 billion to the UK economy.

Brian Cookson OBE, President of British Cycling, said: "Today really brings it home that our ‘inspiration to participation' strategy is working as all types of cyclists are getting behind us on the final approach to London 2012.

"Mark has already thanked his team but I'm sure he would agree that gold medals really come about as the culmination of the efforts from a huge team of people, from riders and support staff to the thousands of volunteers and clubs who work tirelessly to develop our sport."

"As we celebrate this great British victory and record membership, our thanks go to Sport England whose National Governing Bodies investment strategy has been key to our success at grassroots level and to UK Sport and Sky for their continued support."

"We are on track to get one million more people cycling regularly and increase weekly participation to 125,000 by 2013, and with the backing of our partners and members we are delivering a fantastic participation legacy of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Since the start of its Sport England Whole Sport Plan funding cycle in April 2009, the organisation has enjoyed unprecedented growth across all its core areas including:

• The increase of 74,500 in the number of people cycling once per week
• 15% increase in the number of competitive events organised by British Cycling members and clubs
• 47% increase in the number of non-competitive events organised by British Cycling members and clubs
• 28% increase in licence holders

To facilitate the growing demand for its sport, British Cycling continues to run a range of coaching qualifications and courses and its Go-Ride development programme supports young people in over 250 clubs and schools.

It has deployed Regional Events Officers to support its regions in organising and co-ordinating over 3,000 sporting and non-competitive events and work also continues to bring major international cycling events to Britain and to develop cycling facilities.

Sir Chris Hoy, four time Olympic Champion, and British Cycling member: "On behalf of all the riders I'd like to say thank you to the members of British Cycling. Your commitment to our sport makes a huge difference and means the organisation can continue to grow, offering more opportunities for more people to enjoy riding their bike. All members of British Cycling should take great pride in the role they've played, and continue to play, in helping ensure the sport is thriving at all levels."

British Cycling also continues to influence the government and its members have been instrumental in campaigning to ‘Keep Racing on the Road' with record submissions of petitions received by the Department of Transport to amend archaic legislation which is hampering road racing in Britain.

Ian Austin MP, Shadow Sports Minister and British Cycling Member said: "As a keen cyclist I'm really pleased to see that we've now got the backing of over 40,000 members. What British Cycling have achieved is remarkable because very few sports manage to increase mass participation at the grass roots and achieve world-beating success at elite level.

"We have done a lot of work to advance the interests of cyclists and more members will give us a louder voice in the corridors in Westminster and Whitehall. With home Games on the horizon, I'm confident that British Cycling will continue to flourish and drive more interest in the sport."

British Cycling membership provides support and benefits to all types of cyclists. Members enjoy discounts from top cycle retailers, cycling publications and get legal support and insurance. Fees are invested straight back into the sport and used to develop cycling facilities, future talent and growing participation.

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