A new cohort of Total Computers scholars experienced a thrilling two days at the National Cycling Center in Manchester across the 18th-19th January to officially launch the 2023 scholarship programme.
Scholars had unique access to behind the scenes of British Cycling, including a tour of the NCC, an opportunity to try the BMX track and velodrome, and several workshops around engaging with a coach developer, British Cycling talent pathways and leadership within the Great Britain Cycling Team. Scholars were supported by coach developers Marshall Thomas and Nicky Harverson throughout, as well as a new coach developer for 2023 and former Podium Coach, Monica Greenwood – who won Olympic Madison Gold in that famous final with Laura Kenny and Katie Archibald. Monica was on hand throughout Thursday to help with sense making during an opportunity observing Jason Kenny, Justin Grace and John Hewitt coaching, before giving unique insights into the build up to the Madison final at the Tokyo Olympics. Relationships amongst the scholars were developed during interactive tasks as well as an evening meal together in Manchester.
New scholar Alex said “The two days were full on but the opportunity to meet such inspiring individuals and learn from their experiences was hugely motivating” whilst Emily said it was ““brilliant, informative and fun!”
British Cycling’s Education Delivery Manager and Project Lead for the scholarship programme, Robbie George, said “we’ve recruited another energetic, inspirational and diverse group of ambitious coaches who are set to make a big impact on cycling. The launch event and preceding induction webinar was essential for setting the expectations, building connections amongst the group and giving the best foundation upon which they can develop. We know from the 2022 cohort of scholars how important it was to get started with an inspirational event and they have shone since – I can’t wait to see where the 2023 group goes now.
The two days were jam packed with insights and fun and I’m very grateful for the continuing support from colleagues across British Cycling to support this project, and thankful we have a commercial partner like Total Computers who are equally passionate about making a real difference to people’s lives.”
The Total Computers Scholarship program is a funded two-year program for aspiring career cycling coaches, offering free coaching courses, access to a coach developer, connections across cycling and experiences at major events. However, one of the major findings from year one of the program was the community of scholars and the growth of a network of people across sport supporting them.
George explained “whilst we know the value of courses and accessing experiences, one of the underestimated aspects of the program was the strength of the community that is formed by this shared journey. Scholars regularly share their experiences and insights with each other, including from when supporting GBCT, para and talent, as well as sharing opportunities from their own worlds. We’re developing for 2023 how we support this better, including establishing more focused communities of practice – including for BMX Freestyle coaches, coaches interested in Performance Support, and Community Coaching. I’m excited to see how these communities develop.”
Applications for 2024 are currently closed but you can express your interest via the link below. Applications will open in August 2023.
Register your interest in the 2024 Total Computers Scholarship programme
If you have any questions in the meantime, please email [email protected]
Why the scholarships are important
British Cycling and Total Computers are passionate about using this partnership to grow inclusivity within cycling, with a key focus on improving the diversity of the coaching workforce. Attracting a broader range of coaches bolsters the range of experience available to developing cyclists and makes cycling accessible to groups, communities and individuals who may previously have considered it was not for them.
Currently, just 2% of the coaching workforce are from a minority ethnic background, 22% are female and 5% are under 30. In 2022, 50% of scholars recuited were female and 27% from diverse ethnic groups.