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Womens Commission

Womens Commission

In 2001 the Boot Inn League had been established, as a women’s only league. This was established wth the hope of attracting more women into road racing –  as it was a welcoming environment, in a handicapped event. Dolores Usher, Pauline McKay and Susan Lavery and Anita Cassidy were responsible for setting up this league. 

The inaugural meeting of what is now the Women’s Commission took place in April 2002, with the aim of putting together a strategy for women’s racing. With PJ Nolan (then president of CI) chairing this first meeting, a commission was elected –  Richie Keddy, Valerie Considine, Gillian McDarby, Elsa Connaughton and Olivia Coady.

In 2001 the Boot Inn League had been established, as a women’s only league. This was established wth the hope of attracting more women into road racing –  as it was a welcoming environment, in a handicapped event. Dolores Usher, Pauline McKay and Susan Lavery and Anita Cassidy were responsible for setting up this league. 

The main reason for the forming of the Women's Commission was the general lack of numbers of women racing. With few women turning up for races, it was difficult to put a proper racing structure in place for women, and without a proper racing structure for women, it was difficult to get them to participate.  

Valerie has been the constant on the Women’s Commission since it was established. While there have been slight changes on the Commission over the years, most of the progress has been due to the hard work of Valerie, with Orla Hendron and Roisin Kennedy. 

In 2008 the development of a website, and an increase in the public profile, branding and image of women's cycling was one of the main agendas, with Jenny McCauley, Alex Dobbs and Heather Boyle being part of this progress. During this time effort and funding was spent on developing www.womenscycling.ie, publishing a booklet "Positive Cycling" and creating branded cycling gear, which was subsequently used by teams in international races. A focus on recruitment and development was also there, with monthly training camps aimed at all levels, and opportunities to race in overseas competitions maid available.

MINUTES from the Inaugural meeting of the Women's Commission: 


Women’s commission meeting in Portlaoise             09/04/02

 

Attended

 

1)     Dolores Usher

2)     Pauline McKay

3)     PJ Nolan

4)     Eamon Duffy

5)     Ciaran McKenna

6)     Debbie Booth

7)     Derek McCeann

8)     Roisin Kennedy

9)     Kate Rudd

10) Elsa Connaughton

11) Susan Lavery

12) Marieca Attrereesi 

13) Valerie Considine

14) Gillian McDarby

15) Louise Moriarty

16) Richie Keddy

17) Olivia Coady

18) Claire Moore

About 18 people attended, PJ Nolan of Cycling Ireland chaired meeting. We generally discussed the issues in women’s cycling and problems faced by women who are interested in racing at a competitive level. Cycling Ireland has allocated certain funds for the development of women’s cycling in Ireland. It was agreed that the commission elected would put together a strategy of women’s cycling and how the funds should be spent for the EGM in May.

The main issues discussed were the general lack of numbers – not enough women cycling / racing, no proper racing structure in place for women which makes it difficult for women to get started in the sport because the open races consist mostly of men with about 3-4 women turning up and the lack of representation so women until recently did not have a proper voice. Not enough co-ordination of women who race so 1 and 2 women are turning up at different races when if organised we could be all going to the same ones.

There have been some positive developments recently like the women’s league ran last year which got a lot of women into cycling, there was a women’s representative appointed to the Board of Cycling Ireland (Dolores Usher) and on the Track Commission (Louise Moriarty and finally the establishment last night of the Women’s commission.

The commission are charged with:

-          Getting more women into cycling (for example through leisure cycling or charity cycles)

-          Targeting underage girls to take up the sport cycling (through running a schools program)

-          To continue running the women’s league (15ml races)

-          Putting together a calendar of suitable races for women in Ireland (North and South) and co-ordinating this so that women are turning up at these races so there is a stronger presence and women can ride together in a bunch.

-          Develop a squad of women to race in the Team Series in the UK and Ireland.

-          Organise proper coaching and training of a development squad to bring up the standard required to compete at international level.

 


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