A YOUNG volunteer from Tiverton has been selected by British Cycling to become part of a National Youth Forum and play a key role in shaping the future of cycle sport.
Molly Pattison, 16, is currently a volunteer at Decoy BMX Club, which is part of British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme.
She will now join 11 other National Youth Reps from clubs across the country, who will focus on developing opportunities for their young peers and providing the chance for others to ride, race and volunteer.
British Cycling’s Go-Ride programme is a network of cycling clubs, which provide a fun and safe way to introduce young riders to the world of cycle sport.
The aim of the National Youth Forum is to empower young people, who will influence British Cycling initiatives and the future of the programme.
Molly will meet on a quarterly basis with British Cycling HQ and the rest of the National Youth Forum.
The inaugural session took place on Saturday, June 14 at Manchester’s National Cycling Centre, where the group set out the aims for the upcoming year.
John Mills, British Cycling director of coaching, education and development, said: “We are frequently overwhelmed by the strength of the young volunteers at cycling clubs across the country.
“It was extremely difficult to select just 12 young people to join the National Youth Forum, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of so many volunteers.
“Molly has already made a huge impact on cycling in her area through her role as a dedicated volunteer. We are now keen to give her the opportunity to be the voice of youth riders and help to shape the sport.”
Molly has already achieved a Platinum Award as part of the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers programme developed by British Cycling. This means she has demonstrated a continued commitment to volunteering at her cycling club.
Molly said: “Cycling is great for young people, able and disabled, as not only does it provide physical fitness and volunteering opportunities, but also friendship opportunities and a way of gaining recognition.
“British Cycling has really helped me, and the opportunities that they have opened up for me to develop myself as a volunteer and as a person have been phenomenal.
“The most important thing for me is that it has helped to build my confidence. People do take me seriously; I’m listened to, my voice is heard, and my suggestions are taken on board.”
British Cycling’s chief executive Ian Drake said: “Grassroots sport is fundamentally supported by dependable, dedicated volunteers like Molly, whose efforts are essential to the growth of the sport and the health of cycling as a whole.
“The future of cycling is dependent on these young volunteers and with leaders like Molly driving the sport forward, we are confident the sport is in safe hands with the next generation.”
In the build up to the Commonwealth Games, Molly was invited to carry the Queen’s Baton by Prime Minister David Cameron who recently awarded the young volunteer with the new Points of Light award for her efforts towards developing cycling in her area.
Accompanied by her family and BMX race team, Molly attended a garden party at No 10, before running down Downing Street with the baton and passing it on to Olympic gold medallist boxer Nicola Adams.
During her visit, Molly was also treated to a tour of 10 Downing Street and an interview with the Prime Minister and Nicola Adams.
She was joined by British Cycling’s Kelly Burdett, who has supported Molly’s efforts to get into volunteering.