A BOGNOR REGIS woman has been named as one of the country’s most influential female cyclists.
Clair Goddard’s inclusion in Cycling UK’s 100 women in cycling is based on her use of her incredible weight loss transformation to inspire others.
She has joined Paralympian Dame Sarah Storey, TV presenter Angellica Bell and triple Olympic medallist Victoria Pendleton on the list to acknowledge their achievements in promoting women’s cycling.
Their recognition follows the amazing work they did for Cycling Women’s festival of cycling last month.
She joined HOOP (Helping Overcome Obesity Problems) after she passed out waiting for a doctor’s appointment ten years ago and was in hospital for three weeks.
Through HOOP, Clair started cycling and transformed her life by losing eight stone and encouraging others to join her in the saddle.
Clair, 54, said: “It’s a great place to be with like-minded people who support each other without any judgment.
“Now, I don’t think anything about cycling 40 or 50 miles. I love having the freedom to go out on my bike with great people. We never leave anyone behind.”
Claire belongs to Cycle Bognor, organising rides to empower, support and help others regain their confidence and challenges attitudes towards obesity.
Her inspirational character was reflected in the heartfelt nominations she received from the women she has helped.
One said: “Clair shows a real passion to feel positive and she gains strength from riding her bike to get the feel-good factor.
“Her passion and enthusiasm shines through and this has an effect on people who know her or meet her.”
The women’s festival of cycling was aimed at boosting the tiny three per cent of the women in the UK who cycle regularly.
Helen Cook, Cycling UK’s head of engagement, said: “Congratulations to Clair for making it on to our 100 Women in Cycling for 2019.
“It’s an incredible achievement and testimony to the tireless work she’s done to raise the profile of women’s cycling.
“Every woman on our list is an incredible ambassador for women’s cycling, but sadly women remain under-represented when it comes to everyday cycling.”
The awards were presented at a parliamentary reception in Westminster last month after a ride to the House of Commons by more than 150 women to raise awareness of women’s cycling.
This was led by Angellica Bell. She only started cycling after she was inspired by her stepfather and a chance to appear on a TV cycling challenge to ride a stage of the Tour de France.
“Cycling is not only one of the most enjoyable ways of getting around, it’s great for your health, fitness and the environment,” she said.