OTTAWA (July 12, 2021) – Cycling Canada and 94 FORWARD are pleased to announce a major multi-year collaboration in support of the long-term development of cycling in the greater Victoria region as well as across the country. 94 FORWARD, which manages the legacy fund from the 1994 Commonwealth Games and provides funding and support services to high performance sport organizations, will be committing up to $2 million over the next 2 years in support of Cycling Canada’s strategic plan which includes initiatives to develop a regional Hub in the Victoria area.
The collaboration will be the largest that 94 FORWARD has undertaken within its impact model to-date, which includes significant collaborations with Triathlon Canada and Athletics Canada. The partnership will also mark the single largest private funding contribution in the 139-year history of Cycling Canada, which was founded in 1882 and is one of Canada’s oldest national sport organizations (NSO).
The announcement follows the recent launch of a new strategic plan by Cycling Canada which outlines a bold and transformative pathway for both the organization and the sport in Canada over the next 10 years. At the heart of the strategy lies a renewed and concerted focus on the growth and development of Canada’s cycling community. The top priority for the NSO and its provincial and territorial sport partners over the next decade will be the collective development and delivery of more cohesive programs and resources to encourage participant growth and member engagement across Canada.
94 FORWARD will work closely with both Cycling Canada and Cycling B.C. in support of this mission through targeted investments in key areas, including regional grassroots programming, events, athlete and coach development, and pilot programs to grow participant and membership bases at all levels of the sport. Learnings and models developed via the collaboration will be shared and promoted on a nationwide basis to support the development of programming and activities in all regions of the country.
A central focus for the collaboration will be the development of a Cycling Canada Hub in the greater Victoria area. More than a traditional high performance training centre, the Hub will be a regional centre of activity and expertise which can foster alignment and integration along the entire spine of the sport development pathway, from grassroots programs and community events through to national and international level programming and competitions.
“We are excited to work with 94 FORWARD and key partners and stakeholders in the region as we begin to pilot, test, connect and refine the various elements of our new strategy,” said Cycling Canada Chief Executive Officer Matthew Jeffries. “Victoria has a rich cycling history and a tremendous abundance of road, trails, facilities and year-round training opportunities. More importantly, the region is home to one of our nation’s most engaged and thriving cycling communities – it is uniquely positioned to play an important role as we work to develop and grow our national cycling community from coast-to-coast. We are incredibly grateful for 94 FORWARD’s support and believe that this collaboration will be a significant catalyst in helping us bring our exciting plan to fruition.”
“On behalf of the Board of 94 FORWARD I would like to express our congratulations to Cycling Canada,” said John MacMillan, President of 94 FORWARD. “They have a bold and exciting plan. We were convinced to make an investment in their journey. Victoria’s cycling community is thriving and the Cycling Canada Hub needs to build on this community of cycling enthusiasts. The disciplined stewardship of the 94 Games Legacy continues to give us opportunities to build world class programs. This project will be enhanced by the tremendous amount of municipal support shown for sport and physical activity in the region. Many good people and agencies have made greater Victoria the summer sport training capital of Canada.”
“Cycling BC is thrilled to continue our close partnership with Cycling Canada and grateful for this collaboration with 94 FORWARD. This will be a big step forward in building capacity in the greater Victoria area and throughout B.C. and it is an opportunity to create a blueprint for similar programs across Canada. As a member of the initial Cycling Canada Strategic Planning Team, I am excited to see our vision coming to life,” said Erin Waugh, Chief Executive Officer of Cycling BC.
As an initial step in the collaboration Cycling Canada has retained the services of Jon Watkin (Panache Cycling Sports Co.) as Hub Development Lead for the Victoria Capital Region District (CRD) on a part-time contract basis, effective July 1, 2021. In this role Jon will provide initial support, consultation and development work towards developing a Hub in the Victoria CRD. He will be based out of the recently opened Jordie Lunn Bike Park in Langford.