Tour de France winner and double Olympic champion Geraint Thomas has launched a charitable trust which aims to get more young people cycling.
Over 10 years, the Geraint Thomas Charitable Trust hopes to make cycling more accessible to 5,000 children and young people aged seven to 18.
“I’m thrilled to be launching this trust,” said Thomas.
“It’s something I’ve been passionate about and to see it all come together is amazing.”
The 35-year-old Ineos Grenadiers rider added: “The trust is about giving back and helping children across Wales and England to enjoy cycling, whatever the discipline.
“Through this trust, if we can give people the same thrill and excitement that I get riding my bike, that would be great.”
Thomas was speaking at a launch event at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales in Newport, named in his honour following his Tour de France triumph in 2018.
In a statement, the trust set out its targets:
- To provide a grant fund and support programme for young people.
- To work in partnership with other cycling organisations to promote cycling.
- To develop a network of community volunteer mentors to support young people’s participation within the sport.
- To partner with local organisations, clubs and schools who can make referrals and applications for support from us.
- To work with others in the cycling sector including organisations such as Welsh Cycling, retailers and other charities.
According to the trust, barriers preventing young people from taking part in cycling include “the affordability of bikes, skills to repair bikes, basic safety equipment, storage, knowledge of how to ride safely and accessibility to opportunities to ride”.
The trust added: “Cycling needs to be widened to a more diverse audience, ensuring young people from all protected characteristics and social backgrounds are given the opportunity to participate.”
Adrian Coles, chair of the trustees, said: “Our ambitions are to grow year on year and to simply achieve a positive sustainable impact for the younger generation.
“We are looking to work with organisations who feel they can positively contribute to our journey as we grow from today onwards.”