British Cycling has revealed that it will be using this weekend’s Olympic test event in Essex, the Hadleigh Farm Mountain Bike International, to launch a new initiative aimed at encouraging young people aged from 14 to 18 years to volunteer to help run cycling events.
Called Racemakers, the programme incorporates “a practical workshop with volunteering at a local club in preparation for planning and delivering supervised entry level bike races in school and community settings.”
It aims to build on the existing Cycling Award for Young Volunteers initiative, and represents an opportunity for participants to make their first move into event volunteering, potentially leading to further involvement in both national and international events.
British Cycling says that Racemakers has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire mark, devised to recognise “exceptional and innovative projects inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
On Sunday, while the world’s elite mountain bikers are getting a taste of the course that will be used in the Olympic Games in a year’s time, volunteers participating in the Racemakers programme will be helping organise a day’s Go-Ride Racing.
According to John Mills, British Cycling’s Coaching Education and Development Director, Racemakers represents an important move to help encourage more young volunteers into the sport.
“This is a great step forward in educating and inspiring more young people to get involved in volunteering within cycle sport,” he commented.
“By harnessing the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games through the Inspire Programme, we are increasing the quantity and expertise of young leaders in our sport which in turn will increase the opportunities for young people to participate in cycling races. The Racemakers will be fantastic ambassadors for cycle sport and could become part of the next generation of national and international level organisers and officials.”
Anyone interested in getting involved in Racemakers can find out further information by contacting Colin Humphreys or Andrew Chaston in the Go-Ride team on 0161 274 2070 or by visiting the Go-Ride contact page on the British Cycling website.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.