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Bike Like Me Women's Cycling Case Study

Club: Phoenix Cycling Club 

Formed: 1958

Province: Ulster 

Discipline: Road, Off Road, Leisure, Youth

Female Members: 60


How many females coaches or leaders are in your club? We have 5 coaches who have taken the Ride Leader Course. One of the coaches is also a qualified Sports Leader.


Does your club link in with other partnerships, cycling clubs, local councils etc?

We have links with Lisburn Borough Council. They support our Charity Sportive every year. We have met with Sustrans to promote the role of our club and to find out how we can help each other. We have good relationships with a number of other cycling clubs including Ballymena Road Club and Glens Cycling Club. They would attend some of our female only cycles.

How does your club attract females to the club?

In 2019 we were involved in the Women on Wheels project. This is the first time we were ever involved in any sort of recruitment drive. It was a very successful project. Before this we attracted women because we already had a reasonable number of women members who then told their friends about the club. 


What are the benefits for females in your club? 

Phoenix Cycling Club has three women on the club committee and a growing number of women members. As a result of this the needs of women are considered in all club activities. Any women joining us for a club run would be unlikely to be in the position of being in a male only environment.



Have you any good news stories about females in your club?

We have a lot of good news stories. We have always had a lot of women who are active on the competitive side of cycling. This goes right back to 1990 with Mary Stewart winning a National medal at Time trial. Mary is still an active member of the club. We have won the team prize at the National Road Race Championships three times. More recently Judith Russell won the master’s category at the National Cyclocross championships. We have also had success with our Youth girls winning numerous medals at both provincial and national level.  Good news stories aren’t limited to competitive activities. This year we have had one of our club members, Rebecca Fitzgerald, go from joining the club, coming through the Women on Wheels programme, becoming a Ride Leader and studying to become a Sports Leader. Not only that but she has also become an active committee member taking on the role of club public relations officer.

 Have you any good news stories about activities or events which you provide for females in the club?  We provide a number of female only activities. We have an annual women’s only cycle that women of all ability take part in. Our most recent run linked in with a charity coffee morning to raise money for breast cancer.  We regularly organise events to cover a range of topics including nutrition, bike maintenance and strength and conditioning. We also have a few nights out to let our hair down. 


What would you say to other females who may be interested in cycling?

Cycling is a great way to either improve your fitness or stay fit and healthy. It’s one of the few sports that you can continue to take part in at all ages. Joining a cycling club will introduce you to the social aspects of group cycling. You can meet a wide range of people from all backgrounds. It will also give you an opportunity to travel. Cycling holidays are very popular and it is now very easy to go to a wide range of destinations all over the world.


Any top tips for female cyclists? There could be a lot of hints and tips, here are three;

1. Buy the best cycling shorts you can afford

2. Learn how to fix a puncture

3. Get out there and do it. You will not regret it


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