BAGC 2016.inddCyclingShorts.cc has championed women’s cycling at grass roots level and those involved in the sport who offer cyclists the opportunity to race and move to the next level for many years, whether that be gaining the confidence to ride a sportive or race as a professional. This year we are proud to be sponsors and the media partner for Team22 WRT and we continue to sponsor the unique work by the Racing Chance Foundation. Browsing the internet the other night I was pleased to see nominations are now open for the Women’s Sport Trust Awards also known as #BeAGameChanger Awards. The awards have been set up to recognise those individuals and organisations doing the most to progress women’s sport.

The Women’s Sport Trust #BeAGameChanger awards 2016 are supported by Microsoft and they showcase the irresistible nature of women’s sport and inspire others to take action (full details of the awards and categories at the bottom of this article).

 

With this in mind I’m going to take this opportunity to champion our very own Heather Bamforth who is often overlooked and regularly copied by those with higher profiles in the sport.

Heather reporting from the Cheshire Classic.

Heather reporting from the Cheshire Classic.

Heather has been a longstanding member of the CyclingShorts.cc writing team; covering international races like the Tour de France but also taking the majority of her time to write about and report on grass roots cycling and development – take a look at her extremely popular Women’s Guide to Racing which has been used by many a newcomer to the sport.

For those that don’t know already… since returning to the sport of cycling in 2011, Heather has been working behind the scenes to increase the number of opportunities for women in competitive cycling. In 2013, the inaugural North West Women’s Series was promoted by Heather, which featured groundbreaking road racing for women.

 

In 2014, along with three others, she established The Racing Chance Foundation, a registered charity which helps to provide women with a pathway in competitive cycling from novice to elite level.

 

In 2014 & 2015, Racing Chance coached over 200 women, and following Heather’s lead, other women around the country set up similar series to that in the North West. As a result of Heather’s original initiative and the subsequent additional series, British Cycling have seen an increase in female membership with a racing licence increasing from 800 in 2012 to over 1500.

 

©Daniel Styler 2015

©Daniel Styler 2015

Heather’s vision has enabled the sport of road racing in cycling to become more than just a dream for women. Without her there would be far fewer women racing, especially at the important grass roots level.

 

So, as many of you already know who have benefitted from Heather’s input/support she is going to cringe at this praise, but I think we all owe it to her to give her the props she’s due. Heather earns nothing from cycling, she has a totally unrelated full on full time career, but I can assure you every spare minute of the day and night she’s thinking of the next thing she can do to raise women’s cycling higher. I can attest to this with the many hours the two of us spend chatting through her plans… and trust me she has big plans in the pipeline!

 

Ladies, Heather has your back so lets return the favour give her the pat on the back she deserves and get her crowned as an Ambassador of Women’s Sport.

 

Let’s try and do this!!!

 

Nominations for the awards are now open across nine categories. Follow this link to nominate the athlete, team, organisation or individual who has made a positive contribution to women’s sport.
The categories are:

 

Ambassador of Women’s Sport

Journalist of the Year

Media Initiative of the Year

Inspiring Initiative – Local/Grassroots

Inspiring Initiative – National

National Governing Body of the Year

Sponsor Partnership of the Year

Sporting Role Model/s

Imagery of the Year

 

Closing date 21st February 2016 – so get your skates on!

To nominate someone click here: http://tammyparlour31119268.polldaddy.com/s/beagamechanger-nomination-form-2016?p=1

 

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