BREAKING NEWS: British Cycling review Youth Policy – no changes for Cycle Speedway

British Cycling have reviewed their new cross-discipline youth policy and have concluded that there will be no changes to national competitions for under 13s for 2016.

The power has largely been left with the Cycle Speedway Commission as to whether changes would be made from 2017 on review, but with the updated policy, it is unlikely there will be significant pressure from above to implement them.

The new policy reads:

The responses and feedback through the consultation period highlighted three key principles upon which the changes are based.
Youth cycling should be fun. For young riders, building a lifelong passion for cycling through the development of core skills should be the focus and primary outcome. Whilst competition is good – learning to win and lose is after all an essential life skill – the chasing of points to achieve a bigger result than the result of each individual event promotes undue pressure on young children.

Youth cycling should be accessible. From club coaching activities to competition opportunities to equipment, young people should have the opportunity to access the sport and cost should not be a barrier. Success and enjoyment of sport for young riders should not depend on their parents’ ability to pay for equipment or travel.

Youth cycling should be simple and easy to understand. The rules, regulations and other information should be clear and easy to follow for all involved. There should be consistency across the sport in the approach taken to competition with a well-defined and logical pathway for rider development appropriate to the physical, technical and psychological demands of each discipline.

As previously announced, a phased approach has been taken with initial changes coming into effect as of 1st Jan 2016. These will then be reviewed and built on with further changes considered for implementation in 2017.

The changes across all disciplines are:

Changes common to all disciplines

For 2016, the following changes will apply:

Prizes for children aged 12 or under will be in the form of trophies, medals or similar, and be equal for both boys and girls competition.

For 2017, the Board will continue to review and develop the education provided for riders and parents to ensure there is a clear pathway through the sport across all disciplines.

The original youth policy proved vastly unpopular with scores of parents and riders across Cycle Speedway and beyond, it’s a significant victory and British Cycling were left with little option but to review their policy after significant pressure, especially from BMX.

Read the full statement here: