As a charity, one of our missions is to try and develop a structured pathway to help riders develop their skills and confidence through competitive cycling.
This year (our first real year of trading), we have achieved far more than we thought was possible. Indeed, we are having to revisit our three year strategy as we have gone further in 12 months than we thought we would in three years! Not bad for a group of people who all do this as a hobby!
The good news is that we have been able to identify some key areas to target in our next stage of evolution, with one of those being the implementation of a development structure which will be piloted in the North West in 2016. If it is successful, we hope to roll the scheme out across other regions, as well as offering something similar to junior men.
So what are we talking about?
Over the last few years, we have noticed that whilst opportunities have emerged for aspiring female cyclists, there is still much to be learnt about what racing actually involves. First and second claim members of Racing Chance get advice and support from Racing Chance as a club however whilst putting pen to paper so riders can read about what to do is a good start, actually putting the words into practice is a different concept.
Next season, we will have our first development squad of riders. Our aim is to continue to share our knowledge and expertise to a group of riders but to provide practical experience and support. The majority of the riders are under-19, although we also have some who are slightly older.
Our ultimate aim is to provide a support network for junior riders who have decided not to race for a team (mostly due to them concentrating in the main on their education and therefore not being able to commit the time to a team) but instead to help the riders and their parents understand that cycling is a fantastic sport which doesn't have to stop when you turn into a junior.
Footnote: The Racing Chance Foundation is a charity registered in England and Wales. It is also a British Cycling affiliated club, which is also affiliated to Cycling Time Trials. We are open to both males and females and have representation at time trials, road and track.