Hetton Hawks Cycling Club was the first British Cycling “Go-Ride” club in the North East and one of the first in the country. The club was formed in 2002 by two coaches working in the region as part of a group called Cycle Coaching North with the aim of finding the next generation of riders and raising riding standards. A partnership with Sunderland City Council was formed and substantial Sport England grant aid enabled the updating of the existing dedicated cycling facility at Hetton Lyons Country Park. The club became resident there and has a lease to use the circuit. The aim of Go-Ride is to provide British Cycling coaching in a safe, traffic-free environment where young people can learn about the sport and special needs can be catered for. Sessions are mainly delivered on a Saturday morning.
Since that time, the club has grown from humble beginnings to a strong and vibrant club with over 100 young members. It has a large coaching team supported by parent and young volunteers. The club has staged rounds of national and regional youth racing, both on and off-road; reflecting the club’s strength in most cycling racing disciplines. Its riders have represented the region and the club continues to engage in a number of community activities, as well as organising social and coaching events, many of which take place at the Hetton Centre. These events attract visitors from both the region and from all over the UK. Although the club is not the only cycling user at Hetton country park, the club strives to work closely with the local community so that the facilities can be enjoyed by all local people.