Vancouver, BC, June 29, 2016 – Global Relay Bridge the Gap (GRBTG) is proud to launch the Canadian Youth Cycling Network (CYCN). The CYCN aims to create a network of youth-focused cycling clubs across Canada who share the goals of club sustainability and developmental best practices. Launching the CYCN is one of the GRBTG youth advisory committee’s principal recommendations, after two years of pilot project work that distributed $30,000 to seed fund youth racing clubs in BC, Ontario, Alberta, and the Yukon
To kick-start the CYCN’s launch, the GRBTG is inviting youth/junior club leaders and coaches to town hall-style meetings at the Le Tour de la Relève Internationale de Rimouski, Quebec and the Canadian mountain bike championship in Baie St. Paul, Quebec:
• Rimouski Town Hall: July 7, 5PM, Hotel de La Rimouski, 225, Boulevard René-Lepage Est Rimouski, QC
• Baie St. Paul Town Hall: July 16, 5PM, Hotel Baie-Saint-Paul, 8 Chemin du Golf, Baie-Saint-Paul, QC
“Bridge the Gap recognized in 2014 that the pool of athletes graduating from the junior ranks in Canada was too small and does not represent a mature sports development system,” said Andrew Pinfold, Managing Director of GRBTG, as he reflected on the current shortage of junior riders. “There’s a critical mass of riders needed in the junior ranks, which requires clubs to act as stewards of youth development for up to six years prior to junior.”
For his part, Dr. Brian Storey, youth advisory committee member, noted the challenges that youth racing clubs have to deal with. “Integrating new riders across age groups, sustaining youth and parent interest, and ensuring club financial viability while riders progress through the development stages of middle childhood and puberty are complex problems that youth-focused clubs face as stewards of future generations of cyclists,” he said.
The CYCN will bring together youth club leaders who can share best practices in club sustainability and growth, along with valuable insights and perspective on organizational structure and on youth and coach development models. As well, the CYCN will promote knowledge sharing between club leaders, sport system development experts, and youth development specialists across Canada.