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British Cycling and Rapha partner for inclusivity initiative

Will Strickson
20 Jul 2021

British Cycling City Academies Supported by Rapha Foundation will help remove barriers to the sport in local communities

British Cycling and Rapha have launched a new partnership to try and increase cycling's inclusivity at a grassroots level.

With the British Cycling City Academies Supported by Rapha Foundation, they hope to increase involvement in the sport from diverse ethnic communities and socio-economic backgrounds as well as improving the gender balance.

Funded by the Rapha Foundation, British Cycling will begin a two-year pilot in London from July this year, with a national rollout to follow, with the City Academies model to have two phases: City Academy Hubs and City Academy Talent Centres.

The City Academy Hubs will see British Cycling recruit a lead coach in the community who will be supported, mentored and upskilled to provide cycling education and lead fun, skills-based sessions in local open spaces initially for 10 to 14-year-olds. The first of these will be in the London Boroughs of Hackney and Newham, with two coaches already recruited.

The City Academy Clubs and Talent Centres meanwhile will support riders who want to move up to professional cycling via the British Cycling development pathway.

British Cycling CEO, Brian Facer, said, 'The British Cycling City Academies project is a key part of our wider strategy to make cycling more inclusive, more diverse and more reflective of our society. Ensuring greater diversity is essential to the future of our sport and it is also the right thing to do from a societal perspective.'

Simon Mottram, founder and chief executive of Rapha and the Rapha Foundation, said, 'As passionate cyclists, we firmly believe that cycling has the power to change lives and help make the world a better place. But for the true potential of pedal power to be realised, it must be accessible to all.

'As a brand with British roots, we're proud to support organisations here on home soil, which is why we are incredibly excited to be working with British Cycling through the Rapha Foundation, an organisation with a shared mission to better the sport and improve access and support for the next generation of racers.'

For more information visit britishcycling.org.uk