Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas says he is on track to help get 5,000 children on their bikes by 2028.
He has revealed that The Geraint Thomas Charitable Trust, which was launched after the Welsh cyclist won the Tour de France in 2018, has stepped in with grant aid support for five projects over the last 12 months which are in London, Caerphilly, Cardiff and Swansea.
The five projects deliver cycling programmes to disabled children and young carers as well as those who live in deprived areas.
Speaking at the Charitable Trust’s latest fundraising lunch at Eversheds in London, the Ineos Grenadiers rider and double Olympic gold medallist, said: “This is exactly why we set up the Trust in the first place.
“I was always so lucky that I had a bike and also that I had a track just around the corner from my house. But not everyone is that fortunate. That’s why I’m really pleased that we’re able to give a helping hand to these brilliant projects which get children and young people on bikes.
“We have deliberately targeted projects for children and young people who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to enjoy cycling.”
To date, the Geraint Thomas Charitable Trust has supported:
Community Outdoor Group (COG) – which received £3,250 to buy a fleet of new bikes and equipment to deliver cycling sessions to children and young people in East London
Gower Riders – which was handed £2,696 to deliver cycling sessions for young carers in Swansea
Pantside School – which was awarded £2,900 to buy 20 bikes and helmets to improve cycling skills in Caerphilly
Wheels for Wellbeing – which received £2,816 to buy two specialist, adaptive trikes for disabled children in South London
Willows High School – which was granted £2,230 for waterproof clothing so that pupils at the Cardiff school could continue sessions in the winter months
The Trust was set up to support children across Wales and England, setting itself a target of helping 5,000 children enjoy the spirit of cycling over the next 10 years.
Adrian Coles, who chairs the Trust, said: “We know that there are huge benefits for those who cycle but we also know there are still barriers. Not everyone can afford a bike or has the skills to repair one.
“Not everyone has somewhere to store a bike or know how to ride safely. And there are those who require adaptive bikes which tend to be more expensive. We are thrilled to be supporting these projects which tackle inequalities.”