12 Nov

Credit: SportPicturesCymru

Cardiff-born cyclist Geraint Thomas has said that he is on track with his aim to help get 5000 children on their bikes by 2028.

The Welshman revealed that The Geraint Thomas Charitable Trust, which was launched after he won the Tour de France in 2018, has stepped in with grant aid support for five projects over the last 12 months - in London, Caerphilly, Cardiff and Swansea.

The projects deliver cycling programmes to disabled children and young carers as well as those who live in deprived areas.

Speaking at the Charitable Trust's latest fundraising lunch in London earlier this week, the Ineos Grenadiers rider and double Olympic gold medallist said:

"This is exactly why we set up the Trust in the first place. I was always so lucky that I had a bike and also that I had a track just around the corner from my house. But not everyone is that fortunate. That's why I'm really pleased that we're able to give a helping hand to these brilliant projects which get children and young people on bikes."

He added:

"We have deliberately targeted projects for children and young people who wouldn't normally have the opportunity to enjoy cycling."

The Trust's most recent projects include Willows High School in the Tremorfa area of Cardiff, which was granted £2,230 for waterproof clothing so that pupils could continue sessions in the winter months.

The staff at Willows are on a mission to encourage its pupils to reach their full potential. Every other Wednesday at 2:10pm, students head off to take part in one of 55 activities, which could be climbing, playing the Ukelele, looking after animals – or cycling.

Willows has also addressed financial issues faced by pupils and their families, purchasing a fleet of bikes and helmets and providing cycling lessons by qualified coaches.

Jane Crawshaw, Leader of Enrichment at the school, explained:

"We have helped pupils - who have never been on a bike before - learn how to pedal. And we have pupils who could barely balance on a bike who are now confidently pedalling, braking and changing gears. We'd like to say a huge thank you to the Geraint Thomas Cycling Trust and we look forward to encouraging more pupils on their bikes over the coming years."

To date, the Geraint Thomas Charitable Trust has also supported:

  • Community Outdoor Group (COG) – which received £3250 to buy a fleet of new bikes and equipment to deliver cycling sessions to children and young people in East London
  • Gower Riders – which was handed £2696 to deliver cycling sessions for young carers in Swansea
  • Pantside School – which was awarded £2900 to buy 20 bikes and helmets to improve cycling skills in Caerphilly
  • Wheels for Wellbeing – which received £2816 to buy two specialist, adaptive trikes for disabled children in South London

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