What organisers are claiming as the "first ever women’s only track meet" is happening on Saturday June 16th at South London's historic Herne Velodrome.
The new VeloJam event, according to chief organiser Wiesia Kuczaj, "will feature women’s only categorised racing with a significant prize fund. Racing will be split into three Elite, Club and Go-Race! categories and will attract women of all racing abilities, from seasoned pro’s to weekend-warriors, club-riders and novices."
The Go-Ride! promotion is especially exciting for under-16s as it showcases British Cycling's easy-entry programme in the hope that the next wave of Pendletons can be encouraged although as anyone who has been to Herne Hill knows, it's not all about the racing. Just bombing around the recently resurfaced outdoor 450m banked track is fun enough.
The event is sponsored by women's bike clothing brand AnaNichoola as well as the racing, training and social group MuleBar Girls. According to AnaNichoola founder Anna Glowinski, "Racing needs to be more accessible to women and Herne Hill is our local venue; it holds both nostalgic and sentimental value for the brand."
Wiesia Kuczaj says that MuleBar Girl track coaching sessions led to awareness that a women's-only event could be a goer. "Women often encounter barriers when it comes to racing and historically there hasn’t been the critical mass or saturation to create a thriving women’s centric event, until now," she says.
Her team are planning for VeloJam to attract racing women from "far-and-wide through its unique offering, high-class racing and significant cash prize pot which currently stands at £1000, it will be a spectacle of women’s UK racing set amongst a fun, relaxed atmosphere. The Club and Go-Race! races are designed around increasing the participation of women at a grass-roots level."
Women's Open Track Racing Day
Saturday 16th June 2012