Cycling Legacy for London 2012

 

As the clock ticks down to a year to go until the start of the London Olympics, British Cycling’s Chief Executive Ian Drake has been reflecting on how success at the top end of the sport has helped make a real impact in terms of getting more people out on their bikes. And for London 2012 to be deemed a success, he’s looking for more of the same.

 

Picture courtesy of Britsh Cycling 

 

In an interview for British Cycling, Drake said: “Winning medals is huge and being the best is the key aim of British Cycling and our partners. But we have a much wider role than that and our whole plan is oriented around inspiring participation and using our elite success to drive more people to get into sport. The opportunity to host an Olympic Games brings with it the tremendous responsibility of legacy. Our vision is clear for legacy - we want to get to 2012 and have a nation of active cyclists watching British cyclist succeed, and not a nation of couch potatoes.”

 

In partnership with Sky, British Cycling has vowed to get one million people cycling regularly by 2013. Excellent progress is being made, with cycling one of only a small handful of sports to show an increase in participation levels in Sport England’s most recent Active People survey.

 

“There is not a lot of growth across the sports participation at present but we’re delighted to be one of those National Governing Bodies delivering an increase. Our partnership with Sky is one of the main reasons we are in this position. They have embraced our vision and want to help us deliver it and leave a legacy for cycling. We connect with young people in schools and in communities with Go-Ride, with clubs, and people of all ages and abilities through our sky ride local programme and our women’s led ride network breeze. Our events calendar is expanding at a phenomenal rate across all the competitive cycling disciplines and non-competitive events such as sportives, so there never has been a better time or opportunity to give cycling a go. In fact however you ride your bike, you can do it with British Cycling and that’s really powerful.”

 

Meanwhile, a number of riders from Britain’s World Championships winning women’s team pursuit squad have been sharing their views on the prospect of competing at a home Olympics.

 

Dani King said: “It’s incredible. Before the Worlds I didn’t think it was really going to be achievable but it’s been an absolute whirlwind for me. I came in with not that much preparation and I’ve suddenly become a World Champion and I think London’s a realistic goal now. Sometimes it’s hard to get your head around but I’m just going to keep training really hard and hopefully I’ll be in that team. It’s hard to put into words what it will be like if I’m selected. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before so it will be just amazing. I can’t wait.”

 

Whilst Jo Rowsell comments on how the level of competition within the GB squad acts as a key motivator for her: “It drives me on loads having such competition because when I’m out training on the road, not only am I thinking about beating the rest of the world, but I’ve got to be in that final three for the GB team.”

 

Local London girl, Laura Trott said: “Being from down that way – of course it makes it a big deal to me. It’s a full on home Olympics, it couldn’t be any closer to home. It’s crazy thinking about it, that I could be going into town on the train, to ride in the World’s biggest bike race and it’s only a year away. This time last year I wouldn’t have imagined I would have even been close to going to 2012, I didn’t even think I’d be on the long list. It’s just mad how things change.”

 

For more information and to find out about the many benefits of joining British Cycling, visit www.britishcycling.org.uk/membership.

 

 

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