The Welsh Rugby Players' Association has extended its network of business partnerships to cycling, prompted by increasing numbers of present or past players taking to two wheels for charity or to stay fit and healthy.
The Association has appointed leading Cardiff cycle retailer and training provider The Bike Shed as its exclusive affinity partner. Plans include shows and demonstrations for players at training grounds in the four Welsh rugby regions.
The Association is the representative body and trade union for more than 230 current or former professional players, and is chaired by Rhys Williams, former Wales and Cardiff Blues winger and full-back.
In 2009 it set up an affinity partnership scheme to provide players with a range of products and services, since building relationships with more than 40 businesses in Wales.
Rhys Williams said: "Many players and ex-players take up cycling to participate in challenges, to support charity rides and for fitness and health benefits. Former players have competed in major cycling events, for example, the Cape Epic, L'etape du Tour, the RAM (Ride Across America) and Velothon Wales. Having The Bike Shed as a partner will assist our players in getting a quality service for whatever their cycling needs are."
John Higgins, Director of The Bike Shed, said: "We look forward to meeting players at their regional training grounds to introduce them to the joys of cycling. We will provide a full range of support services for current and former players to help them become safe and proficient cyclists and get the maximum benefit and enjoyment from the sport. This could include demo rides, cycle maintenance and general on-road knowledge."