At Kingston Wheelers we strive to be inclusive and promote diversity in cycling. We are all cyclists, but let’s not pretend: this is a sport currently very much dominated by white males; we need to encourage greater inclusion for women and people from black and minority ethnic (BAME*) backgrounds.
Several of our members played a pivotal role in the Diversity in Cycling report published in 2019, with the support of British Cycling, and more recently Science in Sport and others. We want to build on the recommendations made within the report and improve diversity within the club. We are conscious that 33% of people living within the borough of Kingston identify as BAME (Source: Annual Public Health Report 2019) and this is not yet reflected in the make-up of our membership.
Cycling is a wonderful way to improve one’s mental health, particularly in the current environment, and we can all benefit from the kindness and support within our community.
As a club it is in our ethos to provide a friendly and welcoming, inclusive environment for cyclists from all backgrounds, and want to ensure that the club represents the views and backgrounds of all our members. To this end, we are appointing ambassadors at committee level to ensure we continue to develop our diversity strategy and make a tangible impact on cycling in the local community.
We are also seeking to form ties within the local community through fundraising initiatives and working with local charities and youth organisations to promote cycling as a sport with young people from diverse backgrounds. Conversations are underway so please keep an eye on our news and social media for updates.
We believe it’s important that we start to see female representation within our membership and our ultimate aim is to become gender equal with a 50/50 split of male and female members. We also want to see an uplift in BAME membership and have a target of 25% of our members coming from minority backgrounds, a step towards parity with the ethnic makeup of our local borough.
*BAME is a term that refers to those who are black and minority ethnic, in other words those who are non-white. It is a helpful term to a degree and especially in spaces such as cycling that are still overwhelmingly white, but it is not ideal in that it can generalise a range of experiences that in reality can be very different. In order for us to move forward and progress, BAME is a term that serves a purpose even though it is by no means perfect. The important point is that we continue to make progress to foster a more diverse and inclusive sport.