British Cycling is hoping that its Go-Ride initiative will unearth the next set of British champions on the road and the track.
In a bid to encourage more young people into entry-level bike racing, Go-Ride offers riders under the age of 16 the opportunity to compete in a real race environment against cyclists of the same age and ability. Once novice racers have gained confidence, they are encouraged to make the step up to open regional competition.
Through the programme, local cycling clubs will be able to receive kit and prizes for events and access to advice from British Cycling regional development staff. Sky’s involvement with British Cycling has allowed more funding to be directed into the programme this year.
“Thanks to the additional support from Sky we are able to provide Go-Ride clubs with everything they need to organise local events which will help us to develop the first tier of a more accessible youth competition pathway,” says John Mills, Coaching, Education and Development Director at British Cycling.
North Cheshire Clarion, an adult cycling club in Warrington that is affiliated to British Cycling, has been able to benefit from the Go-Ride programme and is launching a child/juniors section of its club with British Cycling support in July.
The Kids club will provide structured cycling activities using the Great Sankey Leisure Centre in Warrington as it base. Summer Saturday sessions are being set up which combine fun games, activities and friendly competition for children aged 6 to 15 under the guidance of three coaches qualified under the British Cycling Go-Ride programme.
“The Kids Club will allow children over the age of 6 to improve their cycling skills and riding techniques. They’ll also be able to compete with each other and, in time, against other kids from across the North West region, we might just discover the next Sir Chris Hoy or Victoria Pendleton,” says North Cheshire Chairman Geoff Prince, who is also one of the Go-Ride coaches.
Support across all disciplines
In 2010, the Go-Ride initiative provided over 10,000 racing opportunities for young people with over 400 Go-Ride Racing events across all six cycling disciplines – Closed Road Circuit, Grass Track, Cross-Country Mountain Bike, BMX, Cyclo-Cross and Cycle Speedway.
For more information on the Go-Ride programme and how to get involved, click here.