Barking and Dagenham’s regeneration company Be First has announced its sponsorship of Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club as part of its drive to improve the life chances and opportunities of local people.
Be First, has backed the club with £6,000 to help get more young people into cycling.
Pat Hayes, Managing Director of Be First, said: “Barking and Dagenham cycling club is a model of how sport can transform the lives of expectations of young people who may not have the greatest opportunities in life.
“They enable young people to get fit, build their self confidence and channel their energies in a constructive way.
“Young people who would have never normally had the opportunity to become competitive cyclists have progressed through the club into the higher levels of the sport, while others have had life changing experiences as a result of racing.
“Increasing opportunity and diversity in the sport is key to the progression of cycling in the UK.
“We are keen to enable people from a wide range of backgrounds and particularly young women and people from ethnic minorities to get involved in one of the most exhilarating and physically demanding sports.
“There is no reason that one day the club can’t produce a cyclist to rival the footballers the borough is already famous for.
“And wouldn’t it be great if a future winner of the Women’s Tour was made in Dagenham?”
Russell Coe, of Barking and Dagenham Cycling Club said: “The club is now ranked in the top third of British clubs and with the support of Be First we will be able to give even more young people the opportunity to take part in competitive cycling and develop themselves as sports women and men.”
The announcement of the sponsorship comes after hundreds of local people attended a time trial event at Barking Riverside last weekend.
Members of the team attended the event which was part funded by Be First alongside Barking Riverside London.
Nick Davies, transport officer for Be First, said: “It was fantastic day with glorious sunshine making it a real fun atmosphere and I feel the event has given a real boost for encouraging more residents and especially young people to get into cycling.”
Earlier this year Transport for London figures revealed nearly 1,800 adults have attended cycle skills training in Barking and Dagenham.
Barking and Dagenham CC and Vandome Cycles will also be appearing at the One Borough show this weekend, where they will be giving FREE bike checks, promoting FREE cycling opportunities for residents and workers in the borough and hosting a Turbo static bike challenge for all ages.
For more information on Barking and Dagenham CC go to www.vandomecycles.co.uk