British Cycling has announced that its ninth HSBC UK Disability Hub site will open later this month at the newly-built Brownlee Centre and Cycle Circuit at the University of Leeds. The new facility, which was part-funded by British Cycling, was officially opened last month and has state-of-art training facilities, including a 1.6km cycle circuit – one of the longest in the country.
HSBC UK Disability Hubs provide dedicated para-cycling coaching sessions for riders who want to keep fit, have fun and improve their performance.
The sessions, led by British Cycling Go-Ride coaches and supported by local volunteers, help riders to achieve a variety of goals; whether this be to get into a new sport, improve fitness and confidence on a bike, rehabilitation from injury or to train for a competition. These monthly sessions will begin at the Brownlee Centre on Sunday 21 May between 10:00 and midday.
Dame Sarah Storey, Britain’s most successful ever female Paralympian, welcomed the announcement, saying “Disability hubs provide a fantastic opportunity for people with all different types of impairments to get into cycling. Cycling should be accessible to everyone, and these disability hubs are making a huge difference.”
British Cycling Development Manager, Rob Mace, added “The disability hubs have been a huge success across the country and we are very pleased to be expanding the programme to Leeds. This will provide a great opportunity for riders with disabilities to develop their cycling skills, make cycling a part of their lives and possibly one day compete for Paralympic medals.”
Named in honour of the University of Leeds’ most successful modern Olympians, The Brownlee Centre sits alongside a 1.6km (1 mile) closed-loop cycle circuit at the University’s Bodington Playing fields in north Leeds.
British Cycling’s investment into the project has also helped to provide a fleet of bikes at the facility, including adapted bikes such as handcycles, tandems and trikes, making the new disability hub sessions accessible for those who don’t have access to their own bike.
Luke Harper, HSBC UK’s Head of the British Cycling Partnership, said “Our partnership with British Cycling is very much focused on grassroots activity, and it is important to give people the opportunity to get on a bike for the first time, develop their skills or improve their fitness.
“We are proud to be part of this new disability hub, providing support to those who may not have had the opportunity through cycling before.”
Suzanne Glavin, head of sport and physical activity at the University of Leeds, added “We are delighted to work alongside British Cycling to ensure that we can provide a truly inclusive offer of cycling at our fabulous new £5m facilities at the University of Leeds. We want to maximise the use of our one mile off road cycle circuit and believe it is the perfect environment for people of all abilities to learn to ride safely as well as train and compete.”
The sessions will cost just £2 for those who book online in advance, or £5 on the day, with groups typically focusing on improving fitness, technique and confidence. These sessions run monthly throughout the year with all dates listed in the events section of the British Cycling website.