British Cycling have been awarded £992,159 of National Lottery funding for a new project that aims to get 80,000 women back on bikes.
Official figures show that over the past two years, the number of women cycling once a week in the UK has decreased despite an overall increase in bike use.
Sport England want to reverse that decline so they've given British Cycling the cash to create a new National Women’s Cycling Network. Over the next three years, 1,000 women will be trained to organise fun group rides in their local area.
The long-term aim is to encourage 20,000 women to cycle at least once a week, and a further 60,000 back on bikes on a less regular basis. It’s one of 20 projects backed as part of Sport England’s £10 million Active Women campaign to tackle the gender gap in sport.
At present, one in five men in England (4.176 million) regularly plays sport compared to just one in eight women (2.761 million). In disadvantaged communities, that proportion drops to fewer than one in 10.
British Cycling’s chief executive Ian Drake said: “We've had significant success in increasing participation in cycling through Sky Ride and we'll take our experience in this area to launch a bespoke programme for women that will be delivered by women. Our female athletes are the best in the world and we want to use that as an inspiration to attract thousands more women to our sport.”