Matt McKerrow, CEO of Cycling Ireland joined us to discuss the publication of a new four-year strategic plan for the sport.

Where is the sport in 2020?

“The sport is in a stronger place than where it was a year ago. Sport Ireland research showed that 250,000 more people are out on bikes now after the lockdown.”

How important is participation?

“It is the base of the pyramid and is incredibly important. Not everyone will be an Olympian but if we want to transition the talented few that might we have to position ourselves to provide programmes and opportunity that will allow them to come through?”

Is there an optimum time to get involved on the performance side?

“The important thing is that you find your pathway.”

Is this a great time for cycling from a Government perspective with the Green Party in power?

“We have to take the opportunity. Government is a major stakeholder and we want to set ourselves as central to those that are looking to achieve particular outcomes from sport to safety and the environment.”

“We are a small NGB but we have set out a plan to work closely with those that want to make things better for cycling and the communities in which we live.”

Do you think that the e-activities you created during the lockdown will persist as we return to more regular living?

“Prior to lockdown, we were looking at creating an eSeries with Zwift.”

“You qualify from wherever you are and then gather in one location on the same equipment to compete.”

“The Zwift league will certainly continue through this winter and I think that is certainly here to stay.”

How are you looking on the building of a national velodrome at the Sport Ireland Campus?

“We continue working away on the Velodrome. We were promised once the Indoor Arena was finished that the Velodrome and the Indoor Badminton Centre were next.”

“I’m optimistic that we will see a shovel go into the ground in 2021 if not in 2020.”