Sport England has awarded British Cycling £24.3 million in funding for 2009 to 2013 to deliver grass roots sport as part of a plan to get one million more people playing sport.
The £24,288,000 of funding represents a 96% increase compared to the 2005-2009 funding period, the second highest increase of the 46 sports eligible for funding.
Sport England yesterday announced a total investment of £480 million to deliver grassroots sporting opportunities. 46 sports, including all 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sports, have been awarded funding on the basis of their ability to increase the number of people playing and enjoying sport, and to create development pathways for those with talent.
British Cycling has developed a plan which defines where it can contribute to Sport England’s targets concerning growth, sustainability and excellence. British Cycling’s four-year proposal to Sport England included:
• Facilities: A new network of permanent traffic-free cycle sport facilities to create a safe environment for existing and new participants in cycle sport plus a Sporting Events on the Highways Unit to work towards securing the long-term future and availability of sporting events on the public highway.
• Competition: The deployment of 10 full-time regional competition development officers to co-ordinate and support the volunteer delivery of the cycling competition programme for each region. This will improve both the quantity and quality of events for participants.
• Coaching: The continued delivery of British Cycling’s UK Coaching Plan to increase the quantity and quality of existing coaching, and therefore participants’, satisfaction levels as well as ensuring there is an appropriate coaching structure to support the development of talent and lifelong participation.
• Children and Young People: The continued deployment of 25 full-time Go-Ride coaches and nine part-time cycling specific community sports coaches operating around traffic-free facility hubs.
• Recreational Cycling: The continued delivery and expansion of British Cycling’s Everyday Cycling programme, including the deployment of 10 full-time Everyday Cycling activators operating around traffic-free facility hubs.
British Cycling says it will now work with Sport England to refine and finalise this plan in line with the new funding, which will come on stream in April 2009.
British Cycling chief executive designate Ian Drake said: “This is a fantastic result for British Cycling. It will ensure that we can continue to get more people participating in cycling for sport and regular recreation. It will also enable us to continue to develop our playground-to-podium talent system through the successful Go-Ride programme.
“No other sport has demonstrated the same level of growth in general participation, club sport and medal success during the current funding cycle. We welcome Sport England’s support in the development of our plans and the approach of funding governing bodies on their record of delivery to date and potential to deliver in the run up to 2012."
Sport England will monitor and evaluate results on a quarterly basis, and will hold governing bodies of sport accountable for their plans. Its second Active People Survey, which was released last week, has provided a baseline for participation in each sport against which specific growth targets will be measured.
One of the things Sport England will no doubt be monitoring is access to the network of traffic free cycling facilities - how close will they be to major population centres and crucially how many of them will there be. This will be key in getting people on to bikes in the first place.
On a lighter note news of BC's funding increase is further prove that Chris Hoy can do no wrong at the moment, he only has to call for an increase in funding for grass roots cycling and he gets one.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.