Volunteers: In Focus - November 2022

Volunteers: In Focus - November 2022


As we near the end of 2022 we will continue to shine a light on the brilliant work volunteers do for all forms of cycling.  We want to acknowledge the huge contribution made by a wide variety of volunteer roles in making cycling happen – quite simply, it wouldn’t happen without them.

If you think someone deserves a mention, get in touch on social media with your respective regional or national teams or via @BCCoaches on Twitter.

We want to say thank you to all volunteers who have supported cycling, at all levels. Without your enthusiasm and commitment, we could not deliver at the levels we do. Well done to those nominated in November 2022.

Name: Sarah Murray

Region: Wales

Role: Coach and Breeze Champion

Sarah has been working with women and girls in North Gwynedd. Coming from a non-cycling background and receiving plenty of advice and support from others, Sarah enjoyed her cycling and trained to become a Breeze Champion. During her time as a Champion, she would often get asked questions about techniques or for top tips. So, she thought ‘maybe I could pass on some of what I had learnt’.

Having investigated becoming a coach, Sarah started her journey with a Level 1 course and enjoyed the combination of online learning, coursework, and face to face development. She said that "the practical days felt really inclusive, and the tutor was particularly supportive and answered all our questions."

Following completion of her Level 1 qualification, Sarah planned the content of her sessions based on some of the comments that Breeze riders had shared with her in the past. Having kindly been granted permission to use a great traffic-free environment for sessions, Sarah has been overwhelmed with how popular the sessions have been and the wonderfully positive feedback from those who have taken part.

Sarah told us “I would definitely recommend becoming a cycling coach!” As a result of the continued demand for her sessions, Sarah is currently completing her Level 2 coaching award.

Here’s just some of the feedback from riders at Sarah’s sessions:

““Thank you so much for another great session! Especially enjoyed zooming around the ‘cone slalom’!”

““Thanks so much for these sessions! Amazing to see the difference they’re making to everyone’s riding.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, just need to practice now. Thank you Sarah.”

Tim Matthews, Coach & Training Lead at Welsh Cycling said:

"I have seen Sarah in action, and she is a really supportive coach. She ensures that the women attending the session are fully involved and enjoy every minute. Smiles all-round! I am keen to support Sarah to develop further as see she is a great coach and has a great way with the women who attend her sessions. Da iawn Sarah"

Alex Aiken, Breeze Area Coordinator, North & Mid Wales said:

“Sarah has been a brilliant addition to our Breeze team in North Wales, both as a Champion & now Level 1&2 coach. Her coaching sessions are specifically aimed at Breeze women, building skills and inspiring confidence in a safe & supportive environment. I’ve attended Sarah’s rides & coaching session and we’ve had amazing feedback from her sessions - everyone has learnt so much and had lots of fun too!!”

British Cycling values: Passion, Innovation, Unity, Integrity

Could you coach cycling?

Name: Alex Brown

Region: West Midlands

Role: Young Volunteer

Volunteering with Wyre Forest Cycle Racing Club, Alex has completed all levels to the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers totalling up the required hours, but has not stopped there, he is still regularly and actively volunteering. Considering Alex is in the midst of his A-Level studies, it is amazing that he dedicates the time to help the club function.

Tim Tranter from Wyre Forest Cycle Racing Club said the following about Alex:

"We've been able to expand our youth coaching groups with Alex's help, ensuring that they're all adequately supervised and engaged in the sessions. His time and input are also extremely valued at the disability hub, helping riders of all abilities enjoy time cycling. He has become a real asset to the club."

The Cycling Award for Young Volunteers is a fantastic place to start volunteering within cycling and is ideal for young people looking to build their leadership and communication skills in a practical club environment. Alex is excelling and everyone at the club is really proud of him!

British Cycling values: Passion

Wyre Forest Cycle Racing Club

Name: Jill Bissell

Region: Central

Role: Breeze Champion

After working for several years as a Bikeability Instructor, training children to cycle, Jill volunteered to become a Breeze Champion in 2014, to give her the opportunity to have some adult company on her bike rides. Since then, she has run 150 Breeze rides with over 850 participants.  Jill also works part time for My Journey Wokingham (part of Wokingham Borough Council) where she promotes cycling in schools, runs a weekly Balance Bike Club for two - four year olds and learn to ride lessons for children who are struggling to ride a pedal bike.

Jill says: “the Breeze programme has given me the opportunity to meet so many new people and discover new cycling routes (and cafes!). I find it particularly rewarding to run short rides for beginners, or ladies who are returning to cycling after some years, and see them grow in confidence and then tackle some longer, more challenging rides. Our rides are always sociable and include a stop for coffee and as one lady said to me recently ‘You don't notice the miles when you are chatting!’"

In addition to having led over 150 Breeze rides since she became a Breeze Champion in 2014, Jill finds time to help younger children and adults by running Learn to Ride sessions locally in Wokingham.

Rachel Fennel, Breeze Area Co-ordinator said:

"Jill is passionate about getting everyone into cycling. She is patient, knowledgeable and has encouraged many people to take up cycling in her area. She is amazing! Thank you!”

British Cycling values: Passion

More on becoming a Breeze Champion