Na­tional Cross Champs

Fund­ing ini­tia­tive led by He­len Wyman boosts fe­male par­tic­i­pa­tion for Kent show­down

Cycling Weekly - - NEWS -

There will be a bumper fe­male con­tin­gent at the Na­tional Cy­clo-cross Cham­pi­onship this week­end, thanks to a new ini­tia­tive cre­ated by reign­ing women’s cham­pion He­len Wyman. Sup­ported by Kind­hu­man bi­cy­cles and the 5th Floor or­gan­i­sa­tion, the He­len100 scheme raised money to fund the en­try of more than 100 young women across a va­ri­ety of cat­e­gories in the Na­tion­als, which will be held on a chal­leng­ing course at Cy­clopark, Gravesend, Kent on Jan­uary 12-13.

Around £3,000 was raised in to­tal, which has funded ev­ery fe­male rider in ev­ery cat­e­gory, from un­der-14 up to and in­clud­ing un­der-23. The idea, says Wyman, is not so much nur­tur­ing young ta­lent as en­cour­ag­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion for its own sake.

“I think there are enough ta­lent pro­grammes de­tect­ing the next Evie Richards, or the next Har­riet Harn­den,” Wyman said. “I feel all young women should have ac­cess to sport and an en­vi­ron­ment where they can com­pete, whether that’s just for fun or to win the World Cham­pi­onship.”

With plenty of strength in depth across all cat­e­gories, the week­end prom­ises some ex­cit­ing rac­ing. Both Wyman (Xypex-verge Sport) and reign­ing men’s cham­pion Grant Fer­gu­son will be back to de­fend their elite ti­tles, and will be tus­sling with Nikki Bram­meier and Ian Field re­spec­tively. With the un­der-23 events in­cor­po­rated into the elites they will be lock­ing swords with the likes of Evie Richards (Trek Fac­tory Rac­ing) and Tom Pid­cock (TP Rac­ing), who both re­turn to de­fend in that cat­e­gory.

Wyman: He­len100 scheme raised £3,000

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