Welsh Cycling has reported a 57 per cent increase in women’s membership in just two years, bringing total female members of British Cycling in Wales to 1,000.
What Welsh Cycling calls a “significant milestone” was achieved, it says, thanks to a combination of inspirational athletes like Becky James and Elinor Barker, and a programme of rides, through the Breeze and She Cycles Wales programmes, encouraging more women to get on their bikes.
This summer in Rio Welsh female cyclists brought home three medals, with Elinor Barker winning Gold in the Team Pursuit, and Becky James collecting two silver medals in the Keirin and Sprints, breaking the Olympic record in qualifying.
Georgina Harper, National Development Manager at Welsh Cycling, said: “Reaching 1,000 female members in Wales is a significant milestone for Welsh Cycling. It demonstrates that given the opportunity women will take part in cycling and make a commitment to the sport, as a competitive or leisure cyclist.
“Having inspirational women like Becky and Elinor at the forefront of our sport helps to inspire more women to cycle. But it is the dedication and passion shown by our coaches, volunteers and Breeze Champions that are creating the opportunities for women to cycle in Wales.”
Welsh Cycling began a Breeze rides pilot in 2014, offering 1,300 ride opportunities, followed by the roll out of the She Cycles Wales programme, offering non-competitive, sociable rides for women and girls. Welsh Cycling now has 125 trained Breeze Champions across Wales, with 4,500 ride places each year.
Women in Wales now make up five per cent of the organisation’s 20,000 female members in the UK. Of 1,000 of Wales' female members, 48 per cent hold racing licences, 50 per cent hold ‘ride’ or commuter-type memberships and 2 per cent hold fan membership packages.