British Cycling is determined to widen access to coaching opportunities and help make the nation’s coaching workforce more diverse.
In 2021 we launched our Total Scholarship Programme, providing people from underrepresented groups with a funded and supported route towards inspiring and encouraging others’ participation in cycling. The scholarships are integral to the future of the sport, providing life-changing opportunities for aspiring coaches to accelerate the development pathways of those committed to developing themselves and cycling.
We caught up with scholar Henry Latimer to hear about his scholarship journey…
“I’ve been involved in cycling for over 15 years as both a rider and racer. I started my racing career as a junior rider at the age of 16, working through the various categories to spend four years as an Elite rider in the UK and securing some overseas experience alongside this. I always felt like I had a small amount of talent and worked extremely hard as a rider to make the most of this. As I grew older, I began to realise that I was not always given the best support by coaches and mentors (some good, but just not the best!). With that in mind, I found a new passion in my twenties of supporting cyclists in the best way possible as a coach and mentor, giving the support that I sometimes felt I lacked as an aspiring rider. I was coaching for a couple of years before the Total Computers Scholarship was promoted through British Cycling and saw this opportunity as a perfect springboard to develop myself and continue my journey in coaching.
The TC Scholarship means a huge amount to me, as it has opened doors that I would have never had access to without the support of Total Computers and British Cycling. Without the scholarship, my development as a coach would have been a lot slower than it has been over the past two years and I wouldn’t have built the network that I have meaning that I’m surrounded by people who have made a big impression on me during my development journey.
Thanks to the scholarship I have successfully gained employment at the Oaklands Cycling Academy in St Albans, which supports junior riders with coaching and development as they undertake their studies. I have also had the opportunity to join up with the Great Britain Cycling Team Para Foundation Squad, which feeds talent into the GB para-cycling team. I began this work with coaching development in mind, but this has developed into me becoming a tandem pilot for a visually impaired rider on the squad which I’m thoroughly enjoying. I was listed as a reserve rider at the recent world championships in Scotland – another really exciting opportunity for me.
Furthermore, I was signposted to the Royal British Legion and assigned as a coach for Team UK at the 2023 Invictus Games being hosted in Dusseldorf in September. This has been a hugely rewarding role, and I'm excited to continue working with RBL to support recovering veterans through cycling. I've also undertaken a number of additional qualifications that I would not have done so quickly without the support of the scholarship.
Looking to the future, my aspirations are to work at the highest level of cycling, with the possibility of going down the para-cycling coaching pathway as I am finding this hugely rewarding. A role with the GB Cycling Team is the end goal, working with professional riders and pushing for success at the highest level of the sport.
Ultimately, I would like to support riders along their pathway of development through world-class coaching and mentoring, preparing them to be the best riders they can be. I would also like to give back to other coaches, so I have a desire to work in coach education in the future too, ensuring that the future of coaching is always progressing and that we can continue to provide world-class support to our up-and-coming riders.”
We aim to bring you more scholar success stories over the coming months to demonstrate how we’re working together with British Cycling to grow communities and inspire the next generation.