Scottish Cycling Champions of the Year recognised
Four outstanding Scottish cycling champions have been recognised in the annual Cycling Champions of the Year Awards. Winners included a passionate community worker, a visionary local politician and a pro-cycling pizzeria. The awards are promoted and presented by Cycling Scotland, Cycling UK, Scottish Cycling and Sustrans Scotland.
The 2020 award winners are:
- Visionary Champion of the Year – Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Edinburgh City Council
- Delivery Champion of the Year – Cathy Miller, Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts / Refugee Community Kitchen, Edinburgh
- Business Champion of the Year – Civerinos Slice, Edinburgh
- Cycle Shop Champion of the Year – Heaven Bikes, Bonar Bridge
Visionary Champion of the Year – Cllr Lesley Macinnes
Cllr Lesley Macinnes, Edinburgh’s transport and environment convener, was a unanimous choice by the award panel for Visionary Champion of the Year. They were impressed by Lesley’s leadership in driving through ambitious change in Edinburgh, including a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in making cycling more accessible to a wider audience.
Cllr Macinnes said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised in this way. Of course, the work I am doing here in Edinburgh is based on enormous levels of knowledge and support gleaned from City of Edinburgh officer teams, and the work of all the relevant organisations and individuals who have campaigned so hard over many years to achieve progress in supporting increased mainstream cycling opportunities.
“People have been unstintingly generous in their time and efforts to get me up to speed on key issues. Sustainable transport in all its forms is clearly the key to healthier, functioning cities of the future and I’m delighted to be playing a small part in that in our capital city.”
Delivery Champion of the Year – Cathy Miller
Volunteer coordinator Cathy Miller was named Delivery Champion of the Year for her commitment and determination in promoting the use of bikes to do good. Cathy coordinates teams of cycling volunteers who collect surplus food from supermarkets across Edinburgh, and deliver it to homeless hostels, food banks and charities. Her passion clearly inspires others, having built a team of around 60 volunteers – which she has kept going strong through the coronavirus pandemic.
Cathy said: “I’m delighted to win this award. It is so nice to be recognised for the work we are doing, but I could not do it without the wonderful team of volunteers we have and the generous support from supermarkets. The initiative has grown tremendously in the last six months and I’m thrilled that we are showing what can be done on bikes. I’m a big believer in cycling and the many benefits it brings to individuals, communities and the environment.”
Business Champion of the Year – Civerinos Slice
Business Champion of the Year was won by Civerinos Slice, a pizzeria in Edinburgh which showed courage and leadership by embracing newly-installed COVID-19 pop-up infrastructure, when many other companies were less supportive. The business owners said that they wouldn't serve anyone parking in the cycle lane outside their shop, plus offered discounts to people who collected their pizzas by bike, helping to encourage more people to cycle as a result.
Cycle Shop Champion of the Year – Heaven Bikes
Cycle Shop Champion of the Year was awarded to Heaven Bikes in Bonar Bridge, Sutherland, who perfectly demonstrated the importance of having a cycle retailer in the heart of a community, selling ‘cycling’ as much as selling bikes and products. Heaven Bikes are a great example of how a retailer helps with the collective aim of making cycling accessible to all and reaching new audiences.
Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s head of development for Scotland, was part of the judging panel. She said:
“The inspiring stories we got to read while judging these awards highlighted the great work happening right across Scotland to enable more people to cycle. From visionary leadership to dedicated community service, each of these outstanding champions has helped many more people to experience the joys and benefits of cycling. They are worthy winners and we congratulate them all.”
The inspiring stories we read judging these awards highlighted the great work happening across Scotland to enable more people to cycle
Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK
Christopher Johnson, head of education and training, Cycling Scotland commented:
“The achievements of the cycling champions have provided us with hope in a very challenging year. It has been inspiring to come together with partner organisations to recognise the success and celebrate good news of the winners in each category, who each demonstrate the positive impact cycling has on our communities and wellbeing.”