Women, role models, Gold and participation

11 Aug 2008 by Karl Hallam

Great performances by Nicole Cooke and Rebecca Adlington in the first few days of the Olympics. The Cooke victory was particularly impressive and gritty. But, will these Golds do anything to increase female participation in cycling and walkking? History suggests not.

David Conn is one of the few sports journalists who has attmepted to cover the relationship between elite performance and funding and grassroots/general public participation. A recent article of his said 'No previous Olympic Games or other major tournament has ever led directly to an increase in people taking part in sport. If anything, the opposite seems to happen: Sport England research has shown that ordinary mortals watching, from their sofas, "models of perfection" performing on the elite stage can actually be put off trying to do more exercise'.

The two Golds have come in sports, cycling and walking, that could not be any more accessible or suitable for delivering the much trumpeted health benefits that sport can offer. Will we see a surge in female cycling and walking as a result or even a Wimbledon-like two week surge? Do such role models make a difference?

Cycling is an interesting sport, because it can be done for a purpose beyond enjoyment/exercise, whereas very few people can swim to work or the shops. Whether commuter cyclists start off as leisure riders and vice versa is not clear, but it seems logical that riding a bike to school is not a bad potential starting point for the next Nicole Cooke.

There is some hope for cycling exploting the opportunity a Gold's publicity offer, as British Cycling have proved to be uniquely strategic in achieving success in delivering success at all levels of cycling, for all ages and both genders ... but however good they are it's not within their remit to ensure roads are safe enough for parents to allow their children to use their bikes on.

Click here for for more on cycling on Cadence's website.


your comments

Posts: 2
Reply #2 on : Fri September 27, 2013, 03:54:55
For commuting, it's worth pnriiitizorg reliability and low running costs over ultimate speed. Something like the bike described in the link would be very good. Mudguards are essential on a bike used for transport. Cantilever brakes are are powerful. A rack is useful for carrying stuff. The wide range of gears will allow you to ride up and down any hill as fast as you can. Shimano gears all work fine. Also, if you ride regularly, you're going to clock up a lot of miles, and will need to replace the chain and cassette every 1,500 miles (maybe more, maybe less). This will be relatively cheap on this bike. Also it is from an Edinburgh-based firm.Hope this helps. http://zthfuggtau.com [url=http://snruba.com]snruba[/url] [link=http://qiyybjcho.com]qiyybjcho[/link]
Posts: 2
Reply #1 on : Sun September 22, 2013, 14:39:56
Hembrow is correct. Cycle tnirniag is is fine but it does not address the fact that the road network is designed for motor vehicles. This makes the thought of cycling a daunting prospect for many, a message reinforced by images of children undertaking cycle taining wearing hi viz jackets and helmets.The cheapest and easiset way to make streets safer for cyclists would be the introduction (and enforcement)of a blanket 20mph speed limit in all residential areas.

Write a comment

  • Required fields are marked with *.

If you have trouble reading the code, click on the code itself to generate a new random code.