Oxfordshire councils’ commitment to health and wellbeing has received a major boost; three-year sponsorship of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour pro cycling race by GLL, one of sport and leisure’s leading charitable social enterprises.

The race, coming through the county on Wednesday 12 June, is expected to inspire more people to exercise for leisure or in competitions.

The race is set to attract thousands of spectators during its Oxfordshire stage on Wednesday 12 June and the sponsorship was announced at a special ceremony at Carterton Leisure Centre where GLL is investing £8.3m in its second phase.

Councillor Michele Mead, Cabinet Member for Health and Leisure at West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “It is fantastic to hear that the women’s race is passing Carterton and I am sure residents will come out in large numbers to see the riders in action.

“This event is truly inspirational for women and anyone who aspires to being involved in elite sporting events and shortly we will have a top-class facility at the Carterton Leisure Centre which could help them fulfil their dreams, so it is a win-win situation for the town.”

It is hoped the race, along with GLL’s commitment, will help encourage more people to take up cycling and other sports.

GLL Group Exercise Instructor Joanne Warren said: “I’m sure the OVO Energy Women’s Tour will inspire more people to get involved in sport and exercise, either as competitors or for leisure, regardless of age, fitness or gender.

“The tie-in with the event is perfect. We’re particularly excited to be making the announcement in Carterton which will soon host many more exercise classes.”

Carterton Leisure Centre is set to feature a new cycle spin studio as well as a trampoline park, upgraded gym and new café.

Rod Noble, Area Community Sport Manager at GLL, said: “The health legacy vision of the Women’s Tour reflects our ambition to make community services and spaces better for everyone. This is part of our commitment to a healthy Oxfordshire.”

Stage three of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour starts in Henley-on-Thames, heads through the Chilterns via Pishill to Watlington, before returning via the climb of Britwell Hill to Sonning Common and Goring.

Crossing the River Thames at Wallingford, the route will pass through Didcot, Harwell and Wantage, crossing the Vale of White Horse to Faringdon, before looping through the West Oxfordshire towns of Burford, Charlbury and finally Woodstock. The finishing line will be in the grounds of Blenheim Palace.

Gabby Heycock, OVO Energy Women’s Tour Project Director (Oxfordshire), said: “We are delighted GLL shares the Oxfordshire councils’ vision to promote, improve and protect the health of local people.

“Its commitment will help guarantee the legacy of this prestigious event, helping our thriving communities to live safe, healthy lives.”

For more information on the OVO Energy Women's Tour please visit www.womenstour.co.uk/