A joint initiative between the Championships, sportscotland and Scottish Cycling has seen funding invested across all of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas in order to create a lasting benefit from the event for communities across the country.
A three year commitment has resulted in £350,000 being invested in year one, with 320 coaches and 131 leaders receiving funding to develop their skillsets across 259 different courses, whilst nearly 2,000 participants have benefited from the programme and resources deployed to support the development of seven new clubs. Of those participants almost 1,000 have been women and girls, a target area of growth for Scottish Cycling in our new strategy, Developing A Nation of Cyclists 2.0.
In order to bring the impact of the fund to life, here are six inspiring stories from across Scotland:
Aberdeen City have used funding from the CCF to recruit a Project Activator post for cycling within the council. The main purpose of the role is to develop and grow community cycling within Aberdeen City. The post has taken on a multi-faceted approach to developing and growing community cycling in Aberdeen City and connecting the cycling pathway from community cycling (schools, community sports hubs and cycling groups) through to club opportunities. The role will support and collaborate with current Scottish Cycling programmes such as Rock Up & Ride. This will help create a pathway from Rock Up & Ride to sport hub or club riding.
Aberdeen has also been identified as a place that would benefit from new youth cycling activity. The project activator will locate areas, particularly focusing on SIMD areas where cycling could be beneficial, with the end goal to create equal opportunities for children and young people in those areas. Ultimately the aspiration is to create a new cycling club within the city.
Angus Council are looking to use the funding to support adults and children with additional support needs who want to experience cycling, as well as targeting early age children who cannot ride a bike. These people have limited opportunity to access appropriate bicycles in appropriate locations and have limited opportunities to engage in structured, adult led cycling. Angus Council are therefore going to increase the capacity of their adapted cycling programme for those with additional support needs by purchasing a new tricycle. They also will be refurbishing balance bikes to ensure the early age children all have access to bikes and training. Finally, they are also hoping to provide structured club cycling sessions for school aged children in targeted areas. This will give children who may not get the chance to take part in cycle sport, the opportunity to try something new and develop new skills and take on new challenges.
Coach education, coach education, coach education. That is what Glasgow City has decided to use the funding for. With the World Champs arriving in August, Glasgow is expecting to have a surge of cycling activity in the city. To prepare for this, they are planning to train 54 coaches/leaders to cope with the demand. This is a great opportunity for local budding coaches to get the qualifications to lead rides and start their coaching journey. They are then running a programme of coach led activities in five priority areas: Bellahouston Park, Cathkin Braes, Pollok Park, Clyde Gateway Area and Alexandra Park Cycle Hub. These activities will focus on targeting local communities, deprived areas, ethnic minorities, people with a disability and women & girls. The hope is that it will leave a legacy of diverse coaches and cyclists in the city who can become positive role models for other people in the same position as themselves.
Orkney’s project aims to develop cyclocross in Orkney for primary age children, youth and adults. They aim to continue to encourage and engage new audiences to participate in inclusive cycling activity and events, and they aim to increase cyclocross opportunities for those already participating; for example by supporting them to attend mainland events. Their project aims to continue to deliver introductory sessions, coached sessions and race days, creating opportunities for social interaction, improved fitness, improved physical and mental health, fun and an opportunity to learn new skills. To achieve this, Orkney are running coach education and CDP sessions for new, L1 and L2 coaches. They are also creating a travel grant to make it easier for racers to get to mainland events. They will also be using some of the fund to purchase equipment and marketing materials to allow them to host races. The hope is that this will encourage people to take up the sport and increase numbers of those that are racing.
Stirling are targeting rural and deprived communities via their Locality Action Plan, engaging them in cycling through an eight-week programme of supported activity, the aim being to delivery fun cycling activity, build confidence in where to cycle locally and create pathways to sustainable participation either recreationally or in club environments. They will be partnering with the local charity, Recyke-a-Bike, to help deliver the programme, who will help to provide ride leaders, a bike mechanic, bikes, helmets and spare parts. The sessions will cover a lot of different aspects of cycling including skills circuits, pump track activities, short led rides and bike maintenance. This programme will help provide these communities a pathway into cycle sport and potentially lead some of them to join a club or cycle more often than they were before.
The Scottish Borders has an existing schools programme called Stride & Ride, which allows primary twos – primary sevens to advance their skills on a bike. Having previously struggled with these sessions, given a number of children had never ridden a bike before, they applied for the CCF to be able to hire a Stride & Ride coordinator and coaches to deliver the sessions, to enable them to include a wider variety of abilities into the programme. They also are using the funding to purchase a fleet of bikes and helmets, as well as travel across the borders to deliver the sessions in as many areas as possible. This really helps reach the target audience of high SIMD areas. It will allow children who may not have access to a bike to attend cycling sessions and get a taste for the sport. There is also an ambition to roll the course out nationally in the future.
For more information on the Community Cycling Fund please contact: [email protected]