Cycling Ulster has welcomed recent progress to establish cycling hubs in the province. The development of these facilities is a result of work over the last year by Cycling Ulster, the Department for Communities and local councils.
The Department for Communities has provided a total of £60,000 funding to Cycling Ulster over the past two years to establish cycling hubs in six locations across the north. These hubs will open up opportunities for people of all ages, including under-represented groups like women and girls, to get involved in cycling, get more active and in some cases take their first steps to becoming healthies and more active.
Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey said:
“I am delighted that the Department and Sport NI have been able to work with Cycling Ulster to increase opportunities for people to experience the freedom and pleasure that cycling can bring. The foresight and timing of this investment has been remarkable, given the major impact that the pandemic has had on all our communities during this past year. The benefits to our physical and mental health and wellbeing of taking part in outdoor sport and physical activity are well established. I am confident that the hubs will play a major role in getting people active and back into sport and that will help communities, groups, clubs and individuals as we take the first cautious steps in the pathway to recovery.”
Cycling Ulster Chairperson, Tommy McCague said:
“The establishment of these hubs is part of an overall strategy for more cycling facilities in the province that Cycling Ulster has been working on with the support of Cycling Ireland for several years.
“Three of these will be established in the first phase and they will be located in Gosford in County Armagh, Fintona in County Tyrone and Garvagh in County Derry.
“The primary focus of the hubs is for them to be used as a facility for coaching courses as well as being utilised by Cycling Ulster for training events and workshops which will be hugely beneficial for us as an organisation. This initiative will have a positive impact on increasing female participation in the sport and these hubs will assist us with the rollout of programmes like Women on Wheels.
“Cycling Ulster has also committed funds to the hubs and we have had the support from local councils in the respective areas which has been crucial to enabling us to bring this project to fruition.
“Plans are also well advanced for three further hubs in the North and one in Cavan which will provide us with a wide geographical spread.”
Cycling Ireland Membership Development Officer for Ulster, Gary Lavery added:
“The new cycling hubs will enable Cycling Ulster and Cycling Ireland to recruit more coaches and volunteers into the sport which will encourage more participation programmes being organised on a localised basis to inspire new people to take up cycling.
“Our cycling clubs will also be able to utilise them for the delivery of their club activities and they will be a great advantage to them in the coming years.
“I want to thank the Department for Communities and the local councils for their support on this project and look forward to continuing to work with them in the time ahead.”