Springboard to great events

Aimed at providing opportunities for new cyclists, from underrepresented groups, to experience the thrill of competitive cycling, these events will act as a ‘springboard’ for cyclists to experience something new on their cycling journey, which hopefully leads to frequent participation in competitive cycling. What’s more, the events will be underpinned by the opportunity for riders to develop their competitive cycling experience and confidence in a friendly, safe and accessible environment.

One of the successful applicants, the Scottish Cross Country Association (SXC) has used their funding to organize taster races for both female and male riders, as well as those aged between 12 to 18, providing new XC racers the opportunity to tackle the same courses. as the elite riders (with some modifications), but over a reduced number of laps.

These taster races were designed to be for those who were mountain bike curious but might feel slightly intimidated by the perceived commitment, technical difficulty, or length of normal Cross Country races, which can often be in excess of one hour. With two of these taster events having already taken place, it is a format that has been well received, with 15 and 16 new riders already getting involved at the two opening rounds.

Successful applicants Fiona Walker and Martin Harris will use the funding in order to organize track events for Women and Girls at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow and the Mark Stewart Velodrome in Dundee; these will take the form of coaching sessions and women-only races on the track. If you’re inspired by what you see on TV, why not go and give it a try yourself?

Elgin Cycling Club and the Polish Scouting Association will be using their funding to organize events on the road. Elgin CC will use their funding for coaching sessions for ladies new to road racing, followed by an “intro to racing” race for Cat 4 new racers only, before they host a Women’s Cat 3/4 event in the afternoon as part of their Miltonduff Ladies Day – the perfect entry route.

Meanwhile the UK’s Polish Scouting Association hopes to use their event as a springboard for new youths, who don’t currently cycle consistently to start doing so, encouraging them to join local clubs and maybe pick up other disciplines within cycling that they are yet to try.

While the Tour De Forth Sportive will use a new Nouveau route at 58km which designed to encourage non-cyclists to take part in their first sportive and hope the funding will attract new Women and Girls into organized events.

Another of the wide-ranging examples is Fife Cycle Speedway, who plan to target younger members of the community, and those from more deprived backgrounds, and provide them with the opportunity to try the fast and frantic world of speedway.

On the funding awards, National Events Officer at Scottish Cycling, Hamish Cowton said:

“We’re really excited to be able to fund these eleven fantastic event projects. We know how important it is to support event organizers to deliver a range of events, including grassroots introductory opportunities for new and inexperienced cyclists. By supporting these events, which look to engage with underrepresented groups, we’re hoping to strengthen our progressive competition pathway and ensure that our sport is accessible to anyone who may have been bitten by the competitive bug.

“It’s great to have such a range of event disciplines and ideas, and we can’t wait to see the impact of these opportunities for new racers.”

Full list of successful applicants:

Elgin CC – Road
Fife Cycle Speedway – Cycle Speedway
Fiona Walker – Track
Glasgow Riderz – Track, Road and Cyclocross
Hawick Belles Breeze – Sportswear
Hawick CC – Time Trial
KOM Events – Cyclocross
Martin Harris – Track
Scottish Cross Country Association (SXC) – Mountain Bike
Tour de Forth – Sports
40 DH – Polish Scouting Association – Road

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