Former Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, has donated £5000 to five Go-Ride clubs across Britain in a bid to find our nation’s hidden cycling talent.
British Cycling’s development programme for young people, Go-Ride, is represented at over 300 cycling clubs across the country. It was set up to provide a fun and safe entry point into cycling for youngsters up to the age of 16 who want to have a go at various cycling disciplines.
Three time Olympic champion, Jason Kenny and double Olympic champion, Laura Trott are just two of nation’s big names to have come through Go-Ride’s pathway.
Sir Bradley Wiggins chose his visit to Liverpool Mercury CC Go-Ride club at Litherland Sports Park to announce his donation, from which Liverpool Mercury is set to benefit. The other clubs that can expect a windfall include Cycle Sport Pendle; Ribble Valley Juniors; Lyme RC and Salt Ayre Cog Set.
“It was great to take a break from training to meet the young riders down at Liverpool’s Mercury Cycling Club this morning.” Wiggins said.
"I’m proud to donate the money from the Foundation to good causes like this. Local cycling clubs need our support and British Cycling's Go Ride programme does an invaluable job in getting young people started in cycling as a sport,” he added.
“I’m in the process of winding down my foundation now as I concentrate on preparations for Rio 2016. I’m a racer not a fundraiser, you know. I’ll always support the grass-roots and encourage young people to take up healthy sports like cycling and I want to thank everyone who’s helped me raise fund for the Foundation over the last couple of years; I’m looking forward to delivering a great result in Rio next year,” he continued.
Over half a million youngsters were given the chance to access cycling in 2014 thanks to the Go-Ride programme. Approximately 90,000 of these opportunities were granted by Go-Ride coaches, and 6000 Go-Ride volunteers helped assist a further 410,000 into the sport.
Go-Ride Racing is also integral to the process, bringing a range of entry-level, local racing events that help young riders cross the divide from coaching sessions into higher level competitions at club and regional level.
British Cycling’s coaching, education and development director, John Mills, said: “It’s fantastic that Sir Bradley has made this donation. Our Go-Ride programme has proved to be an extremely successful first step on the ladder for so many of the current Great Britain Cycling Team and we want this to continue. Our army of Go-Ride coaches and volunteers do a great job and this financial support will go a long way to supporting the work of these clubs.”