Skip to content

Boardman to lead Pedal for Paris

Ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, our chair Chris Boardman will take part in an eight-day bike ride from Manchester to Paris, to galvanise the sport and physical activity sector to step up its work in tackling climate change.

24th May 2024

Our chair and former Olympic cycling champion, Chris Boardman, will lead an eight-day ride from Manchester to Paris ahead of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Pedal for Paris aims to highlight inspirational and innovative organisations in England that are working to become environmentally sustainable.

The ride will begin in Manchester on 16 July, with the team – which will see Chris joined by multiple Olympic medallist and UK Sport Chair Dame Katherine Grainger, and a host of other guests – tackling 550 miles en route to Paris, arriving on 23 July.

Map graphic of the Pedal for Paris 2024 cycle route, starting in Manchester on 16 July and visiting Ashbourne, Loughborough, Milton Keynes, Bisham Abbey, St Pancras, Dieppe and Gisors, before arriving in Paris on 23 July

In the run up to the ride, we’re asking sport and physical activity organisations across the country to sign a Going for Green Pledge, committing to new ways to become more sustainable.

The ride also comes on the back of last week’s announcement of Every Move, our sustainability strategy and action plan that’s backed by more than £100 million of investment, including £45m of new funding to promote green innovation, and Chris is excited for the road ahead.

“Climate change is already impacting people getting active,” he said. 

“This will only get worse if we don’t act now. Summers that are very hot make it harder for children to run around outside.

“Pitches being flooded means they can’t play football. Sport and activity as we know and love it now is under threat.  

“But sport and physical activity is often at the heart of communities, which means it can lead the way in tackling climate change.  

“Our new sustainability strategy, Every Move, promised we would take the lead on tackling climate change.

“That’s why Pedal for Paris will shine a light on some of the most inspirational and innovative people and projects that are working to put the environment first and protect their sport for future generations.

“We are asking every sports organisation and club in England to follow their lead and take urgent action to tackle climate change.”

Going for Green Pledge

The pledge will encourage clubs and organisations to promote environmental sustainability by: 

  • reducing energy and water usage  
  • champion walking, cycling and lift sharing when travelling to activities 
  • drastically reduce reliance on single use plastics 
  • recycling waste and increasing the reuse of sports equipment and kit 
  • boosting activity to nurture nature and wildlife.
Sign the pledge

The ride will shine a light on the best green innovators in sports and physical activity, with the name referencing both the host city of this summer’s Games, but also the 2015 Paris Agreement – the landmark international treaty to tackle climate change.

The ride will encourage urgent action from the sport and physical activity sector to help limit global warming to well below 2°C.

And Dame Katherine can’t wait to see how organisations are already making strides towards sustainability.

“I am looking forward to joining Chris on his journey across the country and showcasing the brilliant work many sporting communities do to positively impact our planet,” she said.

“The effects of climate change are being felt globally and locally, from facilities, tracks, and pitches being flooded to extreme heat impacting training camps and competitions.

“We must use the voice, influence and platform of high-performance sport to advocate for action on environmental sustainability and inspire others to act.

“By working together, we can all help to protect the planet, allowing future generations to enjoy the benefits of sport. 

 “I can’t wait to be part of this adventure alongside Chris and the team ahead of the Paris Games where Great Britain’s extraordinary athletes will inspire and unite the British public once more through sensational performances.”

Chris Boardman, wearing normal clothes, rides a city bike on a street

We’re collaborating exclusively with BBC Sport on Pedal for Paris, with the broadcaster interviewing guests and reporting live every day from the cycle.

The BBC coverage forms a crucial part of their build up to Paris 2024, reporting on Team GB and ParalympicsGB preparations, as well as the key themes around environmental sustainability.

Audiences will be able to follow the ride on TV, radio, online and digital platforms.  

We’re also working with London Marathon Events to deliver Pedal for Paris, with the route being devised by the team responsible for this weekend’s Ride London.

Their head of cycling, Kevin Nash, said: “We’ve devised a cycle-friendly route from Manchester to Paris featuring several Sport England-funded projects which showcase sustainability initiatives.

“London Marathon Events is delighted to support the Pedal for Paris project; we work hard to reduce the environmental impacts of mass participation events.”

Sign up to our newsletter

You can find out exactly how we'll look after your personal data, but rest assured we’ll only use it to make sure you receive our newsletter, to understand how you interact with our newsletter, and to provide administrative information about our newsletter.