The beginning of 2019 has seen the Cycling Ulster Executive review our plans for the upcoming year and in a similar way to last year, we have now highlighted several overarching areas in which we will focus on. With an emphasis of pursuing our vision of developing, promoting and governing the sport for all, these areas include; sporting pathway, advocacy, branding, communication and governance.

The sporting pathway for the development of volunteers and riders is an underpinning feature of plans for the year. Over the past weekend, CU held a training event for the CU Commissions Office bearers to provide them with information to help them run their commission effectively in areas such as finance, safeguarding and selection policies.

For club volunteers, CU have held workshops in relation to event safety in January with further meetings in relation to insurance and supporting clubs with funding and how to generate an income due to take place this month.

The recruiting of coaches and ride leaders will remain a focus, the CU Membership Development Officer (MDO) is a full-time resource funded by Sport NI and is aimed at assisting in the organising of these courses to recruit volunteers who lead cycling participation at a grassroots level. The MDO is also available for clubs to assist in other areas such as applying for funding and with becoming Clubmark accredited.

The more coaches and ride leaders that are available will help ensure that the early stages of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) pathway are being catered for at a club level. The CU Commissions are contributing to this as well by holding coaching and training events, they also provide an important stepping stone for riders aspiring towards international cycling competition with plans across the various disciplines for Ulster to be represented in national and international competition.

CU representatives have been taking part in the Sport NI ‘Engage-Her’ programme which is about female participation. CU Vice-Chair, Julie Rea will be leading the CU Executive in working with the CU Women’s Commission and Youth Academy in relation to female participation in the year ahead.

CU have put a strong emphasis on advocacy during 2018 and this has been increased over the past few months. CU representatives have had positive meetings with Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSP) in relation to an initiative aimed at promoting road safety. Already there has been a commitment to provide support to clubs to purchase cameras and hi-viz gilets in some areas. This will be an ongoing scheme during the year and engagements are also being made with the Garda for a similar initiative.

Greater engagement with the PSNI has led to the setting up of an event safety committee within CU to meet with the PSNI on a quarterly basis as opposed to what were previously annual meetings.

CU are also in a process of meeting with the councils to ensure cycling can utilise existing facilities as well as exploring opportunities for future investment in.

Developing the commercial and branding of CU in 2019 will see a new kit for our competitive teams, a partnership which will benefit all members as well as plans to develop the website and social media outlets further to ensure communication and interaction with members.

CU will also review various areas in relation to governance and structure during the year ahead in consultation with the CU commissions. The continued development of policies and procedures will also be an area of focus to ensure we strive for continued good governance.

Cycling Ulster 2019 key contacts has been updated and can be accessed here