This Sunday morning a seemingly small and innocuous event with five female cyclists took place in Canberra. We hope is the start of something bigger and more significant.
Local racing personalities Jennifer Darmody (Sydney Uni Staminade) and Emma Viotto (Giant Racing) took a handful of our Canberra CC Junior girls under their wing for the inaugural Canberra ‘Girls Who Ride’ training bunch.
Hannah, Chloe and Natasha are already seasoned junior track, road and MTB cyclists and are a small slice of the very healthy number of Canberra’s junior girls riding and racing in the local scene and beyond. Jen and Em took our young racers out for some skills, fitness and all-round good conversation to help give these young women plenty of motivation, advice and support.
The future success of elite sport lies in the successful growth of grassroots engagement. This is especially true when it comes to women in sport and in particular, women in cycling. It will be the engagement and nurturing of young women in cycling that will help push the continued and inexorable change towards equality for women all the way to the top end of cycling.
With that in mind, we want to keep our young cyclists engaged in the sport for the long term and attract many more along the way. Canberra has a wealth of riches when it comes to experienced and successful cycling women. We hope that by running and growing this juniors’ bunch we can use these experienced women to help build development pathways for our junior girls, so that they stay in the sport for the long term, both to their and the sport’s benefit.
Canberra junior girls, watch this space; we will be running this training bunch again soon. Canberra senior girls, watch out; we’ll be calling on you to lend your support!
Thanks again Jen & Em. From small things, big things grow.