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Founding Ambassadors - GFW

30by30: women and accessibility feedback

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Dear Ambassadors,

This International Women's Day on Fri March 8 we are introducing a new community project called 30by30. The overall goal of 30by30 is to increase female and non-male participation and support within the sport of cycling.

While 30by30 will be introduced on this date, the specifics of the plan will be released a couple of weeks later. We would love to involve you as ambassadors to give your feedback on the plan, and to help shape it be the best it can possibly be before all details are announced.

First, some context:

Here is the 30by30 intro post for Friday on social media:

Let’s celebrate International Women’s day not just with words, but by taking action.

The sport of cycling typically sees significantly lower levels of female participation compared to men, and we want to address this.

That is why we will soon be launching Project 30by30; a comprehensive program of goals, activities and community initiatives designed to increase the conversation around and access for women in cycling.

The average non-male participation rate at RBC GranFondo Whistler over the past 5 years has been 22.5%. Project 30by30 doesn’t just aim to increase this number to at least 30% by 2030, but is ultimately an ambition to see more women take up, stay and thrive in this sport.

We are excited to share more details with you in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


Aim of 30by30

Event goal: At least 30% non-male RBC GranFondo Whistler event participation by 2030 (currently 22.5% average).

SUB GOAL 2: Commit to creating a range of new content across multiple types of media throughout the year that both explores, celebrates and elevates the conversation around women's experiences in cycling.

SUB GOAL 3: 50% gender ratio for image & video on our website. (currently at goal)

SUB GOAL 4: As an events organization, complete the Same Game Challenge by August to better understand and formulate our gender equity plans.

Note

The Plan's list below constitutes actions. 30by30 acknowledges that just as important as action is listening. Within each action is an intention to both better understand the area and to hold space for the challenges faced. Often, simply voicing these challenges is an important piece in support of representation and awareness. Therefore, this step will intrinsically be a part of each action.

Specific areas

a) Provide greater access to / knowledge of bike services

We will work closely with our service partners such as Decathlon (bikes, gear), Velofix (mechanical) and others to offer more ways to discover safe, informative and friendly access to bike services.

b) Clothing

Cycling clothing is often designed around the male body and male needs. We will use feedback to improve our clothing to meet a more diverse range of requirements, as well as discuss and look for solutions with the limitations in traditional kit designs as they exist today.

In addition, we will explore ways to provide better and clearer information around fit and comfort for our products to help improve confidence levels in the purchasing process.

We will include these learnings as part of our storytelling efforts as part of section F below.

c) Knowledge

We will develop a new A-Z guide to the event that begins at the first step of the cycling journey, not just at registration.

This guide will highlight ways to get into cycling at the very outset, address challenges faced along the way, provide simple and clear guidance on what to expect at RBC GranFondo Whistler and how to get the most out of your weekend experience.

d) Training

We will continue to both offer and expand the Fondo Clinics training programs for all ability levels across both physical and virtual options.

In addition, the Fondo Clinics will keep on providing the option of women’s only clinics and look to expand the number of these clinics on offer.

Furthemore, we will explore ways we can make available additional skills and knowledge resources such as mentorship and courses outside of the Fondo Clinics program.

e) Ambassador program

The RBC GranFondo Whistler has launched a formal ambassador program for the first time in 2024. This is a hand-selected, closed program that is currently not accepting any more candidates.

The program is committed to maintaining an equally weighted male / female ratio going forwards.

f) Representation & storytelling

The representation of cycling is typically displayed in a male-centric manner. We want to use our platform to create a greater representation of gender equity and increase the conversation around women in cycling.

To do this, we will create and share stories using a wide range of media, such as written, video, podcast, social, in-person, photography etc that explore women's perspectives and experiences.

In addition, we will look for ways to better connect our audience with storied female athletes, such as RBC Olympians.

g) Community initiatives

We will use our platforms to highlight and share some of the outstanding community initiatives currently taking place which collectively aim to increase access into cycling for women and other under-represented groups such as LBGT+ and para athletes, such as:

• WowRide

• HUB Summer Cycling Program

• Chill Rides YVR LGBT community

and more.

h) New activations

Following feedback, we will be making women's sanitary products freely available at on-course and aid-station medical locations, in addition to already supplied medications.

There will be a new women’s meeting point & corral in Stanley Park.

In addition, we would love to develop and host a community leaders women’s panel and moderator discussion around female experiences in cycling.

i) Company education

As an events company we have successfully applied for the Women and Sport's National Same Game Challenge which aims to give sports organizations tools and education to develop and implement their gender equity plans.

The Challenge runs until August 2024 and has already formed the basis of the 30by30 initiative.

j) Organizational support

We are committed to supporting organizations that champion women's causes. This support takes a wide variety of forms, including providing auction entries to upcoming gala fundraisers and donation of our existing infrastructure resources.

k) Funding grant

Sport leaders in the Same Game Challenge are given a $1000 honorarium to spend at their discretion on causes that support their specific gender equity goals.

We will be donating these funds to a women's cycling cause later in 2024, and will consult with the public on which initiatives should be considered.

l) Build on successes

In 2023 we began a renewed focus on bringing more content that helped better prepare riders for their time on the bike. From smaller, easily digestible reels to info sheets and ways to get involved in the local community, we will be producing more of this well received and innovative content.

m) Feedback

30by30 aims to be more a conversation than a solution. As an events company and as a community, we are all on a shared journey of learning and growth along the path of inclusivity and representation.

While we strongly believe that sport and cycling should be and feel like they're for everybody, the steps required to get there are not always clear or easy. However, through positive intention and a bias towards action, we can do our best to hopefully move towards equitable change.

Throughout 30by30, we encourage feedback, thoughts, ideas and questions to help us make this program as effective and as equitable as possible. You can comment on our channels, or email info@rbcgranfondo.com at any time.

That's it. Thank you for reading!

We would very much value your feedback on the plan. You can send your thoughts as a reply to this email or as a comment on the Paragraph Ambassador hub (the comment box lives at the bottom of the post) before Sunday March 17.

Sincerely,

Oli & the RBC GranFondo Whistler team

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