British Cycling has signalled its intent to become more closely involved in the leisure and non-competitive side of cycling, with the appointment of CTC bigwig Andy Cook. He takes on the newly created role of Active Recreation and Active Living Manager.

CTC chair Andy Cook joins British Cycling

Cook was CTC’s National Council Chairman Andy Cook but has resigned from Council to avoid any conflict of interest between the two posts.

CTC president Phil Liggett said to Cook: “You are the fourth chair under my presidency and each brought something different to the table, while all did a very good job through the changing years of the club. You were exactly what the club needed and your youth and ambition came burning through, for which the club will always be grateful."

Vice chair Peter Mathison will take over as Chair of Council until the end of 2005.

Following the Athens Olympics, British Cycling developed its first UK Wide One Stop Plan for Cycling (2005-2009), a response to the new targets it was being set by its funding partners UK Sport and Sport England. With raising the levels of physical activity across the nation high on the government’ s agenda, British Cycling’s targets have broadened beyond pure ‘performance’ goals, such as Olympic medals.

"Participation levels within the sport and the wider pastime of cycling are to become an increasingly important part of British Cycling’s remit," said a statement from the Manchester-based organisation.

This is also a key goal of CTC and the placing of Cook into such a key position is likely to have ramkled with the CTC’s high command.

However, Cook has already had feet in both camps: he has long been a board member of British Cycling’s South Division and sits on the West DC committee of Cycling Time Trials.

Cook has cycling in his blood, having competed internationally on the road and won medals at national level in time trials. He still competes regularly and picked up a bronze in the points race at this year’s Masters track championships.

With the CTC, Cook was closely involved with the organisation of the successful ‘Birthday Rides’ programme, whilst under British Cycling’s auspices he has organised a number of events and he is a qualified race commissaire.

A long-term member of Chippenham & District Wheelers, he has organised club training and coaching session for riders throughout his adult life and is currently a trainee Level 2 Coach. He has helped the club’s recruitment drives with Go-Ride activities.

Cook said: "British Cycling now has a golden opportunity to build on the success of the GB Team in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics. It’s also a great time to be developing a programme to support the Government’s targets for active living and the nation’s health. I’m looking forward to helping British Cycling make a big difference in this area.

"Cycling forms a very big part of my life. I am passionate about our sport and am keen to encourage the thousands of people that regularly potter about on bikes at the weekend to experience all we have to offer. With a young family myself, I am also particularly keen to encourage family participation in organised events."

British Cycling CEO Peter King said: "Andy’s appointment is one of the most significant we have made in recent years. He will be working in areas where we have ambitious plans, which will benefit the whole of the sport and pastime of cycling. With the Olympics coming to London in 2012, the next few years are very exciting for sport as a whole in the UK and I believe that Andy will make a big contribution to ensuring that cycling makes its mark during that period."

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