Young Riders Objectives
To introduce youngsters from the East Grinstead area to cycling as a fun activity in a traffic free environment. To improve their skills in different aspects of cycling and, when they are ready, introduce them to riding on the road. For those that may also be interested in the sport of cycling, introduce them as their skills develop, through experienced Club members, to different forms of the sport including: cyclocross; mountain biking; road racing; time trialling; and track racing.
EGCC has a safeguarding policy that fully complies with the requirements set by British Cycling.
All of EGCC’s coaches and volunteers that will be involved in the sessions will have been checked and cleared through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and at least one person at each session will have received an Enhanced DBS Certificate.
EGCC has Codes of Conduct for its club members, junior members and parents to provide guidance about the behaviour and attitude that is expected within the Club.
At least two supervisors will be present at each session and additional supervisors will attend if needed to ensure that there will be one adult for every 10 children attending. At least one of these supervisors will have received 2-day Outdoor First Aid training. The Club has carried out a thorough risk assessment for the site and has followed through on the actions that were identified to mitigate the risks identified. Children will be briefed before each session about what to do if an emergency develops.
EGCC has cycling coaches that have been trained by British Cycling and ABCC. There will be at least one coach at each session to guide the content and structure the activities and to help develop the youngsters’ skills.
Note that all children attending must be able to ride a bike already. No tuition will be given to children that cannot ride confidently without stabilisers.
Young Riders Sessions
In spring and summer months, EGCC will run evening sessions.
The Spring and Summer evening sessions have now ended for the 2023 season. We expect to run some one-off sessions through the winter, mainly in the summer holidays. You can complete the “Register Interest” form below for more information, we will keep in touch and let you know about future sessions
EGCC’s chosen venue is Blacklands Farm in Grinstead Lane. This site is an existing outdoor activity centre that enables cycling in a traffic free environment on a range of surfaces that includes some concreted access roads, various woodland trails within the site boundaries, as well as an activity field that can be used for a range of training drills under floodlights when needed.
Each session will begin with registration and a short briefing about important emergency procedures. Bikes will then be inspected to check that brakes are effective and that there are no obvious mechanical issues (nb it will be a parental responsibility to ensure that the bikes are in good working order and that tyres have been properly inflated. EGCC supervisors will not carry out any maintenance on participants’ bikes).
Sessions will be developed to suit the abilities of the youngsters. No child will be made to do any cycling activity that EGCC’s coach considers the child is unready for or that the child does not wish to try.
Sessions will include various skills development exercises on concrete road surfaces and on the activity field. When the coaches consider that the children are ready, they will be introduced to riding on a woodland trail together with the supervisors. Progressively, they will be introduced to more taxing trails until they are ready to ride a marked out woodland circuit unaccompanied. Eventually, the children who wish to do so would be introduced to riding these circuits at speed to record their times.
In the future, it is intended that children would be introduced to riding on relatively quiet country lanes in groups before eventually being encouraged to join our club rides. It is stressed that the children will only be allowed to progress to ride on the road when the coaches believe that they are ready and with their parents’ prior permission.
From time to time the Club plans to introduce some special activities, for example an introduction to track riding at Herne Hill or Preston Park, or a longer off-road trek using Blacklands and trails on adjacent land such as the Gravetye Manor Estate. Again, this will only be done with parental permission and for those children that wish to participate.
What to bring
- Parents will obviously need to bring their child’s bike as, unfortunately at present, the Club does not have any bike hire capability.
- Children will need to wear shoes and clothing that is suitable for cycling. If shoes have laces then these need to be tied in a double knot so that laces cannot become entangled with the cranks or chain. Clothing, trousers in particular, also need to be such that these cannot become entangled between chainring and chain or in the spokes of the wheels.
- Enough layers will be needed to keep the child warm and weather protection will be needed to keep them dry. If sunshine is strong then the child will need to bring sun-block.
- Every child must also bring a helmet, gloves or mitts to offer some protection in the event of a fall and protective glasses to protect the eyes from tree branches, etc. If the child does not have these items then they may be refused permission to participate.
- Every child should bring a drink to ensure proper hydration.
- If the child requires medication (e.g. for asthma or allergies) then they will need to bring this with them and be competent in its use.
How to sign up and pay
Weekly subs will be £5 per session per child. EGCC have introduced an online registration system that must be completed before each session. Payment will either be in advance by bank transfer to the Club or on the day by cash or card.
From time to time optional additional special sessions will be offered that will incur some extra costs to cover travel expenses and entrance fees.
Risks and Parental Consent Notice
Parents shall be aware that cycling is not and cannot be made a risk free activity. EGCC has carried out a risk assessment for the activities planned at Blacklands and this document can be made available by request. Whilst this assessment has been carried out thoroughly and diligently it is possible that other risks may arise that have not been foreseen. These will be assessed once apparent and the risk assessment will be revised.
The risk assessment has used a template developed by the Girl Guides Association and used by Blacklands Farm for all of its outdoor activities. The ranking of the risks has used the GGA’s scoring system that considers both the likelihood of the risk and its potential severity. The identification of the risks has been made by experienced cyclists from EGCC and has been informed by guidance published by British Cycling.
The risk assessment identifies that falls from a bike are possible. Whilst falls are infrequent, these are not unusual and neither are injuries. In the main, these injuries tend to be impact related bruising, sprains/strains and ‘road rash’ but broken bones (e.g. collar bone) can occur from time to time. Measures will be taken to mitigate the risk of falling but this risk can only be reduced and cannot be eliminated completely.
Life threatening and life changing injuries are very rare and, in the main, are usually traffic related. By choosing an offroad facility the risk posed by traffic has been substantially removed. There will be very occasional traffic on site when groups of people arrive at and leave from Blacklands for camping and by site maintenance vehicles but this will be infrequent. Warning signs will be placed when the woodland trails are being used to increase awareness for this traffic.
The Parental Consent Notice is important because it highlights the remaining risks for which the parents must accept responsibility if they wish for their child to participate. If parents feel unable to agree to these and sign this form then EGCC will not be able to allow the child to participate. This is a condition of the insurance held by EGCC with Cycling UK.
EGCC holds ‘Rider & Event’ insurance with Cycling UK which is one of two governing bodies for cycling, the other being British Cycling. This insurance provides up to £10 million of cover for EGCC and its supervisors in the event of third party injury or property damage that results from the club’s or its officials’ negligence.
All members of EGCC carry their own individual insurance obtained through membership of one or other of the governing bodies. This provides indemnity for each member in the event that they are held to blame for injury or property damage to a third party. EGCC strongly recommends that each participant takes out such insurance to provide protection for themselves in the event that they might cause injury to others or damage the property of others. Further information can be obtained from:
Participants will be allowed to join 3 sessions without needing to be a member of EGCC. After this, each participant will need to become a member of the Club.
Data Protection & Photography
Any information provided about your child will be securely and confidentially stored, processed and destroyed by EGCC in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act. It will only be used for the purpose of contacting you or your child regarding future events where your child could get involved in cycling; or to provide you with information about EGCC membership.
With your permission on the Parental Consent Notice, EGCC may also take photographs/video footage during the activity sessions. These images may be placed on the EGCC website or social media, or for general publicity purposes.