Cycling Ireland – IT’S NOT A RACE* campaign

Cycling Ireland is proud to launch our new Women in Sport campaign, ‘IT’S NOT A RACE*’ to coincide with Women in Sport week, running from Monday, March 7th.

The campaign celebrates the many female cyclists who make up the broad spectrum of women who actively participate in cycling across its many forms. As importantly, it celebrates the many reasons why women and girls cycle. And yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s not always a race.

The campaign manifesto below tells the story of the women and girls who appear in our campaign - from the advocates who are promoting cycling in their communities, to National Champions Lara Gillespie and Orla Walsh, to Katie Turner, Lucy McClintock and Summer Glynn who are taking the cycling community by storm at a young age.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing the unique cycling stories of these wonderful ambassadors across social media, video, print and broadcast.

For those who are inspired by the stories, or curious about the cycling opportunities available to them, the team at Cycling Ireland, led by Women in Sport Officer, Elaine Cahill, will be happy to help anyone looking to find their way in Irish cycling. 


Remember that.

Cycling is freedom and fearlessness.

It’s being fast for my age. For any age.

It’s friends, family and fitness.

It’s the school run. A convoy of confident young women. 

Sometimes it’s all uphill. But then it’s downhill again. Fast. 

It’s a new start. Wind in your hair. Mud on your face.

It’s a solution to problems. On a daily basis.


Ask Lara, national champion at 19.

Ask Orla, sprinting in circles at 1000 watts.

Ask Eve to see her gold medals.

Ask Summer, Katie and Lucy, fast & furious, beating the boys.

Find your race. Even if it's not a race.

@cyclingireland #itsnotarace

Cycling Ireland Women in Sport Officer, Elaine Cahill, commented:

“We are so excited to launch this new Women in Sport campaign, 'IT’S NOT A RACE*'. Research carried out by Repucon on behalf of Cycling Ireland showed the biggest factors limiting female participation were ‘Lack of confidence’ (32%) and ‘Perception of exclusivity’ (23%) with the top benefit of cycling being ‘Social aspects and interaction’ at 38%. The campaign is all about communicating the different cycling opportunities which are available, that it doesn’t always have to be a race, you don’t have to be head to toe in lycra or have to have the best and fastest bike, but it can be too! The manifesto captures so much of what cycling is and can be and I hope it resonates with a lot of people and encourages them to get back on their bike or choose the bike as a mode of transport, when possible, perhaps learn to cycle or even try a new discipline. I am looking forward to seeing this campaign grow over the coming weeks and months. A special thank you to Sport Ireland for funding the Women in Sport initiative, without them this would not be possible.”

Commenting on this announcement, Cycling Ireland CEO, Matt McKerrow said:

“Cycling Ireland is delighted to be launching 'IT'S NOT A RACE*' campaign today, during Women in Sport Week. This new campaign will build on our previous Women in Sport campaign, Bike Like Me and aims to inspire more women and girls to get into cycling by sharing the unique stories of our ambassadors. We are extremely grateful to Sport Ireland for funding this initiative and we look forward to welcoming new and returning women and girls into cycling in its many forms.”

This campaign has been developed based on research carried out by Repucon on behalf of Cycling Ireland and through speaking with our advocates for women's cycling and female members of the cycling community. The 'IT'S NOT A RACE*' campaign will build on our previous Women in Sport campaign, Bike Like Me and aims to inspire more women and girls to get into cycling and realise the many benefits that cycling has to offer.

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About Cycling Ireland

Cycling Ireland is the National Governing Body for cycling across the island of Ireland. Cycling is recognised as a priority sport within the National Sports Policy and is one of Ireland’s most popular sporting activities. Cycling Ireland has a membership of 25,000 people, a network of over 400 clubs and promotes almost 1,000 events.

Cycling Ireland and our clubs are running a number of initiatives and activities throughout Women in Sport week as well as highlighting all the great work which is being done across the four pillars - Active Participation, Coaching and Officiating, Leadership and Governance and Visibility.

About Women in Sport Week

Women in Sport Week is a Sport Ireland initiative, Cycling Ireland are proud to support. Taking place from 7th – 13th March the week aims to:

  • Celebrate every woman and girl who plays, coaches, officiates, volunteers, works in and leads out on Women in Sport.
  • Promote and highlight the ongoing work of Sport Ireland, NGBs, LSPs and other stakeholders and clubs under the topic of Women in Sport.
  • Highlight some of the programmes/initiatives funded by Sport Ireland Women in Sport Programme