The Doncaster-based manufacturer of plastic above and below ground drainage and water management systems is backing the new Racescene Female Development Academy (RFDA) for the 2019 race season.
The RFDA is a Yorkshire-based female youth cycling team for young riders aged 12 to 16, who will be competing in regional and national road and town centre series races throughout 2019.
Polypipe has a long history of supporting UK cycling through local event sponsorship, long-term sponsorship of the hugely successful MI Racing Team, and regular participation by staff in amateur and charity cycle races in the UK and across Europe.
Polypipe will provide the team with funding and marketing support to highlight the successes of the team during the season. The firm will also be working with the professional team to raise the profile of cycling as a hobby and a path to fitness amongst Polypipe employees. This will take the form of an RFDA led ride and advice on training and nutrition from the RFDA support team later in the year.
The RFDA has also teamed up with Mind (Rotherham and Barnsley), and will be promoting the mental health charity to highlight the pressures on young people across communities in Yorkshire.
Richard Maxwell, team principal at the RFDA said: “Women’s and youth cycling is on the rise, but the sport needs more females cycling in order to progress the sport. Our aim is to build an effective team ethos developed through regular training sessions, both in the UK and abroad, and developing links with a continental team. The dream would be for a graduate of our academy to compete at the highest levels, including the Olympics.”
Glen Sabin, chief operating officer at Polypipe, added: “As a Yorkshire-based business that employs significant numbers of people across the region, we are proud and excited to be backing this fantastic new initiative that will support the next generation of homegrown athletes.
“Cycling is growing in popularity and participation at all levels, with the county coming together each year for the Tour de Yorkshire and I am delighted that Polypipe is able to take an active role in supporting talented young female cyclists who want to compete and excel at the highest levels in the sport.”
The long-term goal for the RFDA is to create an under-23 team and the academy is actively looking for people to work from the junior ranks through to senior competitions.