The Women’s Commission of Cycling Ireland will be hosting an open forum on the 17th September at 3pm in the Sundrive Pavillion, Eamonn Ceannt Park, Dublin.
The aim of the forum is to inspire and motivate female cyclists to actively shape the landscape of women’s bike racing in Ireland. The forum is an opportunity for all cyclists to learn about the racing opportunities available, as well as establishing criteria for developing a healthy and progressive bike racing scene in Ireland.
The forum comes at a perfect time as Katie George-Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal flew the flag at the Para Cycling World Championships adding the Time Trial title there to their Paralympic Gold from Rio.
Three times National Road Champion and international cyclist, Lydia Boylan will speak at the forum as well as European Youth Olympic Festival silver medallist Lara Gillespie. Both will be sharing their experiences from competing on the world stage, which will trigger a discussion on what measures can be taken to attract more women into the sport of cycle racing, and what measures can be taken to develop a healthy pathway in the sport.
“This will be a real opportunity for everyone to gather and discuss the broad subject of what female cyclists want,” said recently appointed Board Member of Cycling Ireland Gillian McDarby.
“There are a lot of volunteers and clubs around the country who support women’s bike racing, and who are motivated and dedicate a lot of time to hosting races and striving for equality in the sport.”
“However, it is important that together we constructively establish guidelines and criteria around what will make the sport better, and what will attract and retain more women in the racing side of cycling.”
“We would like to encourage anyone with an interest in women’s cycling and in bike racing to come along and contribute to what will be a groundbreaking conversation.”
Females make up approximately 20 per cent of the Cycling Ireland membership, make up only 6 per cent of Full Competition licence holders. There is a remarkable drop off for girls in cycling, with the gender gap increasing as they move from youth to junior. 34 per cent of U10 licence holders are female. This drops to 24 per cent of U14 licence holders and by the time cyclists enter the junior ranks only 9 per cent of junior licence holders are female.
The Women’s Commission has issued a survey for circulation prior to the forum, and ask all female cyclists to complete it by the 11th September to help inform the forum. The results will be discussed on the day.
Cycling Ireland is among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.