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ABERGAVENNY ROAD CLUB
Abergavenny Road Club was Welsh Cycling’s Club of the Year for the last three years, with an ethos that on or off-road, competitive or social, we all share a passion for the bike. The club now has almost 300 members.
The club has set up an outstanding mix of accessible or no-cost training and coaching, high performance development and a seemingly endless supply of encouragement, energy and enjoyment from coaches, participants and parents alike.
There are specific programmes and initiatives to engage and encourage women and girls. Club Coach Paul Crapper started women only sessions every Saturday morning, taking place off-road, on grass and tracks. These sessions are incredibly well attended – sometimes with mothers and daughters coming together to the same session. With women and girls membership growing in numbers, they cite inspiration from club role models including GB cyclists, sisters, Becky, Ffion and Rachel James.
Member’s quote: “Abergavenny Road Club’s women only sessions have had a significant impact on me and others in the local area. I turned up as a complete beginner and have since become immersed in the world of cycling, enjoying coaching in both cyclocross and mountain biking, even completing my first competitive race.”
teamBEDS&LUTON is working hard to connect with communities who are disengaged from mainstream sports provision due to a lack of opportunities, role models and female workforce.
This year the CSP aims to qualify 30 community enablers, activators or coaches with 150 women attending workshops. They will then deploy this workforce into a number of delivery programmes locally and use this model for other areas of the county.
The ‘Me Time’ Leaders project run by teamBEDS&LUTON and in partnership with Active Luton is designed to help BAME women of all ages from Luton get on to the coaching pathway as either a community enabler, an activator/leader or a coach. Female only courses were arranged to help women feel comfortable attending these programmes and to date over 70 women have either completed a qualification or have signed up to complete.
Through effective partnership working with community groups an NPLQ course, which is sensitive to the cultural need of BAME women, has been developed. This course will allow 16 women to become qualified lifeguards and help service the need for more women only swim sessions in Luton.
A Netball Activator Course has also been designed to introduce women to the game and women attending the fitness instruction courses can then lead female only sessions; Buggy Fit, Push to Fit, Mums-only and post-natal yoga.
For the last few years Sheromie Brewster has been working hard to introduce Cage Cricket (urban cricket) in London and the Caribbean with minimal financial support from sport governing bodies. She has been running workshops through her Catch Project and getting great results with girls from all backgrounds at Tower Hamlets College and her activities in Lambeth.
She is currently working with De Montfort University as part of their Go Global Cricket Tour to Barbados, which will be helping to host a Cage Cricket Schools Rally while in Barbados. This will lead to international Cage Cricket tournaments as part of ongoing exchange programmes between the UK and Barbados.
Sheromie is currently delivering training to students so that they can continue delivering Cage Cricket to fellow pupils and arrange tournaments around London with other schools and youth groups.
She says: “It is a privilege to help make a positive and productive difference however big or small it may be. It’s refreshing when you watch someone play Cage Cricket for the first time as it is a unique experience and it brings people together from different backgrounds and all players are supportive of each other.”
WOMEN’S CLIMBING SYMPOSIUM
The Women’s Climbing Symposium (WCS) is an event that aims to connect, inspire and develop women’s climbing through collective climbing experiences, the latest research and the best coaching.
The WCS was established by climber Shauna Coxey when she realised that many women face significant barriers to participation. As an elite climber, Shauna decided to use her influence and position to help other women in climbing and help grow the sport.
WCS offers a welcoming environment for women of all abilities, from every background, by creating a programme that is diverse and interesting. Alongside the multiple talks there are five different coaching sessions available, designed to be friendly, informative, and accessible.
The day is about celebrating climbing, learning from each other and having fun.
Since 2011, the WCS has quadrupled in size and attracted over 250 people to its annual event in Sheffield last year. The event is held at different locations across the UK each year to encourage participation.
99% of respondents said that having an all female event was worthwhile and 89% said they would attend the event again.
WCS participant comments: “Not usually a believer in gender-specific events, but it was so valuable because of the ‘spirit’ and sense of community and belonging it evoked, focusing on women only in a male dominated sport was very worthwhile”.