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Female cycling coach numbers jump 70% since 2013

While women only make up a fifth of the cycling coach-force, British Cycling report that times are changing

The number of women cycling coaches has jumped an enormous 70% in the last three years, according to numbers announced by British Cycling this week.

Reporting on the success of its 'women's strategy' which launched in 2013, the UK's cycling governing body is heralding the progress made in bringing an all-time high 1,100 female coaches into the sport.

Of that number, almost half have been trained since the launch of the strategy which also set out a target of getting 1 million more women cycling by 2020.

>Read more: British Cycling unveil plans to get 1 million more women cycling by 2020

At the time, British Cycling compared their aim of geting more women cycling - and involved in coaching - to their aims of winning eight golds at London 2012, or producing the first ever British Tour de France winner - both of which they have achieved in the last decade.

And once again, the governing body appears to be well on track to securing success in fulfilling yet another of their optimistic predictions.

In order to maintain the excellent progress that's being made in women's cycling, British Cycling  launched its Ignite Your Coaching scheme in April which is looking to raise the profile of female coaches while providing them with a high level of structured support.

Senior coaching and education officer at British Cycling, Helen Hiley, maintained that the Ignite Your Coaching scheme is simply about providing the best possible support for the growing number of female cycling coaches around the country.

"We know of standout examples of female coaches doing wonderful things for the sport from grassroots coaching through to elite level," she said. "We want to empower others to follow their own coaching path by providing expert help and a hub full of resources.”

In regards to the growing number of female coaches, Hiley was also full of optimism.

She said: “These coaching figures are extremely encouraging, and demonstrate very clearly the tremendous progress which is being made in getting more women into our sport. We know that females generally are still under-represented in cycling, but we are now building real momentum to effect sustainable change.

“The other great news is that we are also seeing increased female participation in our coaching sessions: since 2013, we have seen a 17% growth in the number of women taking part in our female-only development sessions."

The Ignite Your Coaching scheme, which will benefit those growing numbers of female participants massively is beginning in four pilot locations before rolling out to other areas in the country.

Alongside the Ignite Your Coaching scheme British Cycling are still working towards their target of 1 million more women cycling by 2020 by targeting the low female sportive participation numbers.

Working alongside women's support organisation Women in Sport, the governing body is looking  to tackle barriers that are preventing more women from taking part in cycling events such as a lacking of confidence, fears of something going wrong, and non-feminine cycling stigma.

>Read more: British Cycling aims to get more women riding sportives

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