Funded by Sport England through the Major Event Engagement Fund and provided by Manchester’s National Cycling Centre, Eastlands Trust and Manchester City Council in partnership with British Cycling, the project, which rides on the back of the 2016 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, will be split into three strands:
- Secondary school coaching, racing and curriculum support
- Street BMX for 11 to 16 year olds
- Engaging with young people aged 16 to 25 who are not in education or employment (NEET)
Research shows more than 54 per cent of the Sport England target audience of 14 to 25 year olds are no longer in education. This is particularly evident in Manchester, with 6.5 per cent of known 16 to 18 year olds in the city being classed as NEET – young people not in education or employment – in 2014, higher than anywhere else in the north west.
The 2016 legacy programme provides an invaluable platform through which to engage this vulnerable audience and assist them in getting on the right path to a brighter future.
It’s the first time the scheme has been extended to alternative educated students who struggle to find suitable employment.
This six-month scheme will see participants learn to ride on a programme of intense coaching as well as get the chance to further their education with specified coaching courses. They will also be given the chance to volunteer at the event and the chance of essential work experience to further their CV.
At the end of the project, the individuals will also get the opportunity to race on the same track as their idols in the Supercross Legacy Race during the 2016 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup at The National Cycling Centre.
Starting in April, Street BMX will deliver outreach BMX coaching to young 11 – 16 year olds in the area around Platt Fields Park BMX Track in south Manchester on a ‘pop up’ basis. For 10 sessions, coaches, youth workers and a trailer full of bikes will land in the area and set up shop. It will give people a quick, impromptu taster of the sport without the need for formal coaching or learning the complex rules of racing.
Underpinning the activity is a six-week schools programme which will see pupils from 10 secondary schools invited to BMX sessions at the National Cycling Centre and Platt Fields BMX Track, where they will be coached to a standard where they can take part in inter-schools racing.
With a specific emphasis on encouraging girls into the sport, post-event work will include further coaching and competitive opportunities to develop young people’s interest and engage them further in the sport.
Curriculum support will also be available to support pupils’ GCSE PE education via BMX. In time, a curriculum package will be a sustainable offer for schools each year.
Speaking about the benefits of the programme and NEET scheme, headteacher at Sporting Edge youth centre Robert Hunt said: “It’s important to get these young people properly integrated into society so they can go on to lead the fullest life they possibly can.
“This legacy programme is the perfect opportunity for these individuals to get out there, make friends, learn a new talent all the while gaining essential life skills which will put them in good stead for the future.
“It’s about giving these people the right support, re-shaping their perceptions and opening their eyes to a whole new world to put them on the right track and so they know they can do anything they set their mind to.”
Jonny Clay, Cycle Sport and Membership Director at British Cycling added: “We are sure that the legacy programme will be a huge success and a valuable source of advice and knowledge for the growing numbers of young people who want to take part in BMX.
“We measure the success of our major events based on the capacity to inspire people to get more active and gain essential life skills along the way.”
Key aspects of the legacy programme will include an integrated approach in increasing the number of young people involved in the sport and a development of the next generation of BMX stars.
Tickets for the 2016 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup (9-10 April) are selling fast. To support Liam Phillips and the Great Britain Cycling Team on the road to Rio, get your tickets at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/britishcycling. A full event schedule is available to view via the event website at http://bmxsuperx.com.