During the 2005 British National Track Cycling Championships in the Manchester Velodrome, Tesco announced its sponsorship of British Cycling's 2006 'Go-Ride' programme.
Tim Mason, Tesco marketing director said: "Most children don't see their bicycles as a potential sport, just a way of getting to school, visiting friends or going down the local park. But cycling is also a fantastic form of exercise, good fun, kind to the environment, easy to do and can be a team sport. This partnership will support cycling clubs in communities and in schools and will build on the other Tesco sports schemes."
The market-dominating supermarket chain – so dominant, even Wal-Mart has lodged a complaint - launched the Tesco Sport for Schools and Clubs last month.
Tesco customers receive one voucher for every £10 spent.
The voucher collection scheme takes the place of the Tesco computers for schools voucher scheme until 6th November. Equipment will be delivered during the spring 2006 term.
The sport products in the Tesco equipment brochure are mostly suitable for football, athletics, rugby and tennis, although there are stop-watches and the like, suitable for cycle clubs. However, while there are provisions for coaching sessions in these sports from the Tesco scheme, there's no provision for cycle coaching.
Cycling is a major sport for children. In terms of participation it beats football and is only just pipped by swimming.
51 percent of 6-16 year olds are swimmers; 49 percent are cyclists; 37 percent are footballers. (Source: Sport England survey of 3000 children, 2003).
When Tesco launched its scheme in September, BikeBiz.com asked why cycling wasn't included.
The supermarket chain told BikeBiz.com it will be reviewing the sport voucher scheme at the end of this year, and will "look at ways of including cycling equipment as well if we receive a lot of requests for this area."
Tescos' now sees potential in supporting cycling. A spokesperson for the voucher scheme asked, "Are there other official cycling organisations we should be speaking with?"