How Milngavie youngster Sophie Paterson is helping to shape cycling’s future

Sophie Paterson is part of the first ever Scottish Cycling Young People's Panel.
Sophie Paterson is part of the first ever Scottish Cycling Young People's Panel.

A teenager from Milngavie is set to play a key role in a new initiative to help develop

cycling in Scotland over the next two years.

Sophie Paterson has been selected as one of nine members of the first Scottish Cycling Young People’s Panel, for which applications were received from across Scotland.

Led by Scottish Cycling, the national governing body for cycle sport in Scotland, the SCYPP provides a national platform to represent a voice for young people from across Scotland to influence and shape the future of cycling in Scotland.

Sophie will have the opportunity over the next two years to have her views heard and valued and the chance to influence decision making and drive change in the sport.

A rigorous recruitment process began in March when applications were submitted by young people between the ages of 14-23 from every region of Scotland.

The new panel met for the first time in Scottish Cycling’s headquarters at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow earlier this month, along with their parents and guardians.

This provided an opportunity for the young people to find out more about the opportunities that lay ahead as part of the panel, to meet each other for the first time, and understand the expectations of them over the next two years.

Sophie has been a member of Glasgow Riderz cycling club for the last eight years.

After initially racing cyclocross, she has taken to mountain biking over the last few years and represented Scotland West at the 2018 British Cycling MTB Inter-Regionals competition.

Sophie says her favourite thing about cycling is being pushed out of her comfort zone. She recognises the feeling of pride and self-accomplishment she gets from taking on challenging MTB courses – and uses this as motivation to push herself in all other aspects of her life.

On finding out that she had been successful in securing a place on the panel, she said: “I am very excited to be chosen for the panel and I can’t wait to be a part of changing the ways of cycling in Scotland.

“I want to make an impact on young people and females in cycling around the country.”

Scottish Cycling CEO, Craig Burn, congratulated the new panel members and is excited about the impact that the panel has the potential to make on the sport across the country.

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our nine new panel members and welcome them to the Scottish Cycling team.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact their dedication and passion for cycling in Scotland has and encourage them to take full advantage of this experience.”

The panel will be engaged in projects across the organisation – from regional development to events, and coaching and education.