Double Commonwealth Games silver medalist and Olympian Susy Pryde is empowering the next generation of female cyclists by embarking on a cycling tour of North America with two Auckland teenage girls.

The girls, Stella Callaghan and Lancely Yung, will travel North America for one month competing in a number of road races and events with Pryde and her husband Chris Drake acting as mentors and coaches along the way.

The tour is supporting and raising awareness for Aktive – Auckland Sport & Recreation’s (Aktive) HERA – Everyday Goddess project (HERA), which aims to empower 10-18 year old girls to be active for life.

The unique cycling tour initiative began through Pryde’s involvement in the sport after retirement from competition. It was recognised that encouraging girls to take ownership of the personal outcomes they want from participating in sport would significantly and positively impact the holistic benefits and growth.

Funded by Sport New Zealand, Aktive, Auckland Council and New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) and facilitated by Aktive, HERA takes a participant-led approach to engaging girls in sport and recreation, aligning with Pryde’s approach.

“Intially it was about presenting equal opportunties to girls, however we quickly discovered that there was so much more to what we were doing,” says Pryde. “We can see the real benefits of empowering these young females to take ownership of what they would like to personally achieve, and the encouraging impact this has on their overall wellbeing.

“This tour isn’t about results – it’s about the benefits and experience that come from participating in the environment the girls will be in, as well as the relationships they will build,” adds Pryde.

This tour is one of a number of intiatives that HERA is inolved with including a girls only swimming night in Papatoetoe and girls only skateboarding lessons through providers MaanakiFit and OnBoard Skate.

Once the girls return from the tour they will fill into a mentoring role for HERA for girls that want to start cycling both competitively and as a recreation activity.

Stella and Lancely leave for the United States in late June 2018, competing in the following races:

Sunday June 24 – Nevada City Cycling Classic CA
Saturday June 30 – Lakeport Downtown Criterium CA
Sunday July 1 – Lodoga Road Race – Williams CA
Wednesday July 4 – 4th of July Criterium, Davis CA 
Saturday July 7- Watsonville Criterium, Watsonville CA 
Tuesday July 10 – New West Grand Prix, Vancouver BC Canada
Wednesday July 11 – Tour de Gastown, Vancouver BC Canada
Thursday July 12- Giro di Burnaby, Vancouver BC Canada
Friday July 13 – PoCo Grand Prix, Vancouver BC Canada
Saturday July 14 – Tour de White rock Criterium, Vancouver BC Canada
Sunday July 15 – Tour de White rock Road RaceVancouver BC Canada
Sunday July 22 – Manhattan Beach Gran Prix, Los Angeles

Their journey can be followed on Instagram @heraeverydaygoddess and Facebook www.facebook.com/HERAEverydayGoddess and www.facebook.com/HERA-Racing-206817860133479