Big boost to Suffolk’s biking ambitions

THOUSANDS of people living in rural parts of Suffolk will be getting on their bikes as part of an innovative new project funded by the National Lottery.

Cycle Suffolk has secured a �372,000 investment from the �10 million Rural Communities fund, to boost the number of people taking up the sport in the county.

The scheme was launched after research revealed people living in rural local authorities were the most inactive.

The investigation by Sport England prompted the project in a bid to increase the number of people taking part in sport across the country.

Around 2,100 school children will benefit taking part in British Cycling’s GO ride cycle scheme over the next three years.

The money will also fund 2,000 people living in rural villages to take part in cycling schemes, 220 people participating in disabled cycling schemes, 36 trained coaches and 37 riders to stay in the sport after leaving elite level competition.

There will also be a drive to encourage more people to use the county’s cycle routes and facilities promoting a culture of cycling throughout Suffolk.

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Professor Bill Tancred MBE, ex-Olympian and chair of Suffolk Sport, said he was delighted for the people of the county.

He said: “This investment from Sport England will provide a massive boost for cycling, sport and physical activity in Suffolk. With the 2012 London Olympics just around the corner now is the perfect time to start building a lasting legacy for cycling in Suffolk.”

Addressing some of the biggest challenges to grassroots participation, it is hoped the project will help achieve Sport England’s Olympic legacy goal of getting a million people playing more sport.

Sport England’s chair, Richard Lewis, said: “Everyone should have the chance to find the sport they really enjoy. The projects we’re investing in today, such as Cycle Suffolk, will help us tackle the barriers to participation in rural communities, by delivering sustainable sporting opportunities to thousands of people.”

The project will be delivered by Suffolk’s county sports partnership, Suffolk Sport and British Cycling. It will cost �472,000 in total, with the remainder, �100,000 secured from Suffolk County Council.

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