The sports superstore Decathlon hasannounced the winner of its nationwide Cycling Club of the Year contest today - with a disability cycling club nabbing the top spot.
The winning club is Surrey Wheels For All, a charity largely comprised of disabled athletes which fought off competition from around 200 rival able-bodied clubs.
Following a month of rigorous public voting and local campaigning on the Decathlon website in which more than 200 clubs competed for 2500 votes, the winning club will now be awarded £500 in Decathlon vouchers for new equipment.
Surrey Wheels For All largely consists of individuals with disabilities. The group strives to provide support and cycling equipment to ensure all members can enjoy the hobby – regardless of situation.
The team ended up with 21 per cent of the overall vote, and its online campaign received support from Olympic Gold medallist and Paralympic Cyclist, Joanna Rowsell MBE, the English Federation of Disability Sport and the club’s local Surrey MP.
Surrey Wheels For All co-ordinator, Matthew Wings, said: “Surrey Wheels for All is a relatively new club set up by the national cycling charity; Cycling Projects. We have gained some great support from parents, carers, volunteers and partners, who just long to see their child enjoy an activity that many people can often take for granted.
"We are very proud to have been chosen as the Decathlon Cycling Club of the Year."
Peter Lazarus, Cycles Market Manager at Decathlon, said: “We are delighted to announce Surrey Wheels For All as the winners of the 2015 Cycling Club of the Year.
"They go to great lengths to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to experience the joys of cycling. This competition has also highlighted the number of amazing cycling clubs that operate across the country, all of which provide a platform for more people to enjoy the benefits of cycling."
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.