Polypipe has signed on as principal sponsor of a new all-female competitive cycling academy.

The piping systems manufacturer will continue its support of developing talented sportspeople by backing the new Racescene Female Development Academy for the 2019 race season.

The RFDA is a Yorkshire-based female youth cycling team for young riders aged 12 to 16, who will be competing in regional and national road and town centre series races throughout 2019.

The riders will receive expert racing and team management coaching, with access to sports nutritionists and psychologists, as the organisation looks to develop the female talent that can go on to compete in professional events.

Polypipe will provide the team with vital funding and a range of marketing support to raise the profile and highlight the successes of the team during the season. Polypipe will also be working with the professional team to raise the profile of cycling as a hobby and a path to fitness amongst Polypipe employees. This will take the form of an RFDA led ride and advice on training and nutrition from the RFDA support team later in the year.

The RFDA has also teamed up with Mind (Rotherham and Barnsley), and will be promoting the mental health charity to highlight the pressures on young people across communities in Yorkshire.

Richard Maxwell, Team Principal at the RFDA said: “Women’s and youth cycling is on the rise, but the sport needs more females cycling in order to progress the sport.

“Our aim is to build an effective team ethos developed through regular training sessions, both in the UK and abroad, and developing links with a continental team. The dream would be for a graduate of our academy to compete at the highest levels, including the Olympics.

“We want to develop young cyclists by supporting them emotionally, mentally and physically. We aim to provide the opportunities to allow our riders to grow in confidence and excel not only in the sport of cycling, but in all aspects of their life.”

Glen Sabin, Chief Operating Officer at Polypipe, added: “As a Yorkshire-based business that employs significant numbers of people across the region, we are proud and excited to be backing this fantastic new initiative that will support the next generation of home-grown athletes.

“Cycling is growing in popularity and participation at all levels, with the county coming together each year for the Tour de Yorkshire and I am delighted that Polypipe is able to take an active role in supporting talented young female cyclists who want to compete and excel at the highest levels in the sport.”