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The Adventure Syndicate launches schools programme to get more girls into cycling

Laura Scott
12 Jan 2018

The collective of female endurance cyclists looks to inspire more people to start cycling

The Adventure Syndicate, a collective of female endurance cyclists, has launched a school programme this spring funded by the Sporting Equality Fund.

The project aims to help girls feel capable of more, using adventurous, self-propelled travel to engage girls who would otherwise not choose to take part in physical activity.

The Adventure Syndicate Team will be working with five schools across Scotland: Dingwall Academy, Inverness Royal Academy, The Bridge Education Unit, Mary Russell School and Rosshall Academy, inspiring pupils with tales of their adventures.

The aim of the project is to change the girls’ relationship to exercise and outdoor activities permanently, resulting in improved levels of self-esteem, resilience and confidence that will last them a lifetime.

Part of the programme will include following the #Southbound team adventure. Four of the Adventure Syndicate athletes will be riding south from Scotland carrying GPS devices, as the schools follow them online and while collectively trying to match the team’s daily mileage by using indoor trainers, doing laps of the school grounds, riding at the weekends, and travelling to and from school by bike.

It is expected that upwards of 100 miles will need to be accumulated each day to keep up with the Adventure Syndicate riders, who will ride for a week with no set destination.

Paula Regener, top ultra-cyclist and Project Coordinator says: 'This project is especially designed to look at the lack of female participation in cycling. It will introduce the girls to the freedom bikepacking provides and inspire them to take up the sport.

'Who knows, there may even be an Olympic champion waiting to be discovered.'

Lee Craigie, Director of The Adventure Syndicate and recently named Bikepacking Ambassador of the Year by bikepacking.com, added: 'It’s well documented that girls’ participation in sport drops off dramatically when they reach their teens.

'We hope that, by providing an adventurous, sociable alternative to the traditional athletic model, we’ll be able to turn that around.'

Within the schools The Adventure Syndicate will be working more closely with selected groups of teenage girls, who will:
Learn about the sport of bikepacking, bike maintenance and campcraft, develop their mountain biking skills, and celebrate their achievements with an overnight bikepacking adventure in the summer.

The Adventure Syndicate hopes this project will serve as another way to increase levels of self-belief and confidence in others (especially in women and girls) by telling inspiring stories, creating an encouraging community, and delivering enabling workshops and training.

'We do this because we love the way adventuring by bike makes us feel and we passionately believe we are all capable of so much more than we think we are.'

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