Despite the sell-out success of Vélo Birmingham & Midlands in 2017, we were not satisfied with the number of women who took part and as organisers we are determined to inspire and encourage more women to sign up and experience the thrill of completing a century ride on closed roads.
We are working hard to understand what’s holding women back from entering sportive events and will do everything we can to try and accelerate change. Inspired by the Commonwealth Games, which is a beacon of inclusion and gender equality, we have set an ambitious target of 50% female riders by 2022 – the year in which the city of Birmingham hosts these major games.
Celebrating Women of Vélo:
As part of our commitment, we are launching a ‘Women of Vélo’ initiative, which will identify inspirational stories from female Vélo Birmingham & Midlands riders in the lead up to the 2019 event. The campaign will celebrate those women who are playing an important role in helping us to realise our ambition, in turn opening the eyes of other female riders to the possibility of taking part.
Whilst the long-term ambition is for the start line to be 50% female by 2022, we are determined to make a difference in the short term too! Here are just some of the things we’re doing to try and grow the % of women taking part in 2019:
- Exclusive priority access for British Cycling’s female members to enable them to secure their entry into Vélo Birmingham & Midlands before entries go on sale
- Holding back an allocation of entries into the sell-out event to be used to build exclusive partnerships with organisations, groups, brands and individuals who can help open the event up to new female audiences
- Launch of the new ‘Women of Vélo’ campaign, which will identify inspirational stories from female Vélo Birmingham & Midlands riders. The campaign will celebrate those women who are playing an important role in helping us to realise our ambition, in turn opening the eyes of other female riders to the possibility of taking part.
- Working with British Cycling to continue to better understand the barriers and motivators to women entering sportive events.
- Working with key regional partners Birmingham City Council, Solihull County Council, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, Dudley County Council and Sandwell County Council to drive local participation and extend our reach.
- Working with our lead charity partners Cure Leukaemia, NSPCC, Alzheimer’s Society and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity to help them drive the number of women signing up to ride for charity.
Share your story:
If you have any ideas on how we can inspire more women to take part, we’d love to hear from you! Please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and use the subject line ‘Women of Vélo’.