Geraint Thomas launches charitable cycling trust to provide more opportunities for young people to cycle across Wales and England.
2018 Tour de France winner and double Olympic Champion Geraint Thomas has today officially launched his charitable trust which aims to make sure every young person across Wales and England can enjoy the spirit of cycling by participating in the sport regardless of their individual circumstances.
At a launch event at the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome of Wales, on October 25, 2021 Thomas launched his trust which aims to provide further opportunities for young people to access the wonderful sport of cycling which has given Geraint so much over the years.
The trust will support children from 7-18 years-old and has lofty ambitions to help children enjoy the sport of cycling. Over the next 10 years, the Geraint Thomas Trust wants to help 5000 children to experience the sport which has given Geraint so much.
Geraint Thomas said: “I’m thrilled to be launching this trust – it’s something I’ve been passionate about and to see it all come together is amazing.
“The trust is about giving back and helping children across Wales and England to enjoy cycling, whatever the discipline, and through this trust if we can give people the same thrill and excitement, I get riding my bike that would be great.
Geraint continued: “I want to thank everyone who has helped to make this trust happen, I very much look forward to the adventure we are about to embark on.”
The INEOS Grenadiers rider is no stranger to giving back, as well as his on-bike success, his generosity and willing to help off the bike is a huge part of why Geraint is so popular in Wales and among sporting peers worldwide. During the COVID pandemic in 2020, Geraint took matters into his own hands by raising over £375,000 for the NHS Heroes in Wales by undertaking his three consecutive Zwift Shifts on his turbo in his garage in Cardiff. But now he is looking to inspire the younger generation by offering various ways into the sport through the trust.
The trust has several key aims that it wants to achieve:
- To provide a grant fund and support programme for young people.
- To work in partnership with other cycling organisations to promote cycling.
- To develop a network of community volunteer mentors to support young people’s participation within the sport.
- To partner with local organisations, clubs and schools who can make referrals and applications for support from us.
- To work with others in the cycling sector including organisations such as Welsh Cycling, retailers, other charities.
Due to the success of people like Geraint and other athletes and organisation, cycling is recognised as a force for good. Cycling helps build independence, confidence, it provides family with an opportunity to exercise together, friendships are formed all whilst building personal mental resilience.
While the trust recognises that cycling provides many benefits, there are still many barriers preventing young people taking part in cycling. These include the affordability of bikes, skills to repair bikes, basic safety equipment, storage, knowledge of how to ride safely and accessibility to opportunities to ride Also, cycling needs to be widened to a more diverse audience, ensuring young people from all protected characteristics and social backgrounds are given the opportunity to participate.
This is where the GTCT comes in, the trust will look to work with partners, individuals, and other organisations – operating a grants programme and providing a package of support to young people from all backgrounds up to the age of 18 – the trust will work to ensure that these people who have a passion and interest for sport can have access to cycling.
Adrian Coles, Chair of the Trustees for the GTCT said: “Our ambitions are to grow year on year and to simply achieve a positive sustainable impact for the younger generation.
“We are looking to work with organisations who feel they can positively contribute to our journey as we grow from today onwards.”