British Cycling, the national body for cycling, and the Football Association have joined forces to encourage more women to get active.
The two governing bodies have launched a new Kick Start Your Ride initiative urging women to cycle to football matches, including organised Breeze bike rides for women attending England Women's World Cup qualifiers, FA Women's Super League (WSL) matches and The FA Women's Cup Final.
Great Britain Cycling Team stars Jess Varnish and Vicky Williamson, and England women's internationals Gemma Bonner and Fara Williams launched the enterprise at an event in Manchester, and the British Cycling-hosted bike rides will begin with England's next FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 qualifier against Montenegro, taking place at the AMEX Community Stadium in Brighton on Saturday 5 April.
Commenting at the launch, British Cycling’s women’s network project manager, Natalie Justice, said: “This is about two sports coming together to inspire women to try something new. The opportunity to go on a group bike ride with friends, mums, daughters with the prize of getting to watch some exciting football at the end of it has all the ingredients of a fun day out and we hope to see hundreds of women getting involved over the coming season.”
Kelly Simmons, director of the national game and women’s football at the FA, said: “This unique partnership shows the benefits that two national governing bodies can bring when working together for one common aim – getting more women active.
“Participation levels are crucial for all sporting bodies and we’re delighted to work with British Cycling to get more women into both football and cycling.”
The scheme will now be continued at local level through the 18 FA WSL clubs throughout the upcoming season.
Visit www.breezebikerides.com for more information.