Heather BamforthTrustee Profile
Heather first became involved in cycling in 1993, when she joined Stretford Wheelers Cycling Club in Manchester. As a teenager, she raced on the road and track, and was one of the first people to ride at the National Cycling Centre when it opened in 1994. A graduate of the North West Centre of Excellence, Heather learned the ropes on club runs and training rides with the Centre of Excellence, where she was one of only two girls who attended the sessions at the time. She was a regular at Manchester Velodrome, where she competed in the ACT Track League on Mondays and the Premier Division of the Manchester Regional Track League on Tuesdays. She joined Manchester University Racing Team in 1997, where she was studying French and Italian, with whom she won a number of British University Sports Association Championship medals.
Heather took a step back from competitive cycling in 2002 to concentrate on her career as an insolvency practitioner. She came back into competitive cycling in 2011 after being persuaded to take part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain as part of a relay team whilst trying to recover from chronic fatigue that had been a side effect of anti-epilepsy drugs that she had been taking for over 10 years. 2011 proved to be a challenging year as Heather had decided to swap her medication to try and improve her quality of life. In 2012, she decided to have another go at racing, and, after swapping medication and losing two stone as a result, found that she had a lot more energy than previously.
Within two months of starting to race again, Heather had identified that there were gaps in the events that catered for women and she approached British Cycling to ask how women could bridge the gap from 45 minute circuit races to National Series road races. Having identified that this path was non-existent, Heather set up a working group who could advise as to what was needed and, with the help of Ivor Armstrong, the Cycling Development North West Women’s Road Race League was formed.
Since the launch of the league in 2013, women’s cycling has gone from strength to strength, with everybody recognising the sense of community which the #partyontheroad ethos brings. The Foundation aims to build on that sense of community by bringing all the people who are the driving force behind women’s competitive cycling together. With increased participation comes increased opportunity, but only with the correct support and guidance will it develop as it should, which is what we hope the Foundation will do.