IF THE first 12 months are anything to go by, Bronte Tykes Cycling Club certainly have a bright future ahead of them.

The Keighley-based club were only set up a year ago by former World, European and British cycling champion Anthony Gill.

And to illustrate their early progress, they were awarded the Clubmark accreditation earlier this month – a Sport England kite mark which rubber-stamps their work as community sports club.

Gill wanted to give back to his local area through his passion for cycling.

“There was no real cycling club in the area, so with the help of the British Cycling programme Go Ride, we managed to start running some regular coaching sessions," he said.

“We’ve really grown over the last 12 months – I’m really pleased.”

The Go-Ride programme is a development programme which helps to provide fun and safe bike handling skills for young people.

The former track-sprinter champion admitted that he had nothing like this when he first started cycling. He said: “I actually started off in athletics and went on to represent Great Britain at Under-23 level before moving onto cycling.

“Cycling really gave me a second lease of life but I had to find my own way.

“As someone who has competed at the top level, I want to give something back.

"We have a team of qualified coaches who all have the same aim – to inspire young cyclists.”

The club now have over 60 members, ranging from 5 to 14-year-olds and run weekly coaching sessions on Saturday mornings in Keighley, along with competing in regional races.

“We’ve had quite a lot of success, especially at regional level which is great – it’s been a fun first 12 months.

“On a weekly basis we have groups of young riders’ racers all over the region, with many of them achieving podium finishes in these races.

“We have just been given a funding grant from Sport England which will be used to help expand the club and hopefully help attract more riders.

"Some more around the 12-13 year age group would be ideal.

“The Tour de Yorkshire helped us to attract more members because seeing their idols – the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy in the flesh, has really helped to inspire them to progress and want to do well.” said Gill.

The club are always looking to expand and recruit more members as they continue their rapid rise in the cycling world. Anyone who wants to join or knows someone who would be interested should go to www.brontetykes.com for more information.