Would like to start a small racing program for low income kids in my neighborhood. I don't have the financial means to purchase equipment or the expertise in racing. Do you think sponsors and a coach can be found? What I do have is a love of cycling and the belief that these children can benefit in all aspects of their lives from the experience.
Appreciate your thoughts
I would check with bike shops to find one that would be your home sponsor. You can also petition local businesses for money once you have a game plan. I would also look to see if there are any non-profits in the area that refurbish bicycles in order to find a source of affordable bicycles. There may be one that allows the kid to have it almost for free in exchange for their labor on his/her own bicycle plus some extra volunteer time.
In CO it may be easier to find a lot of cast off bikes. I know that the NE Velodrome has a lot of donated track bikes (!) that they use for classes and such. I'll be bringing one up this year, a beautiful frame/fork/headset/post that a teammate gave me to give to them.
Grass track racing, possible on virtually any field, would be a good way to introduce young'uns to racing, skills, etc., without requiring a lot of gear (single speed bike, helmet, etc).
You may be able to get helmet donations if you have a cause or a benefactor. I know of a couple (father is a cop or fireman or something) who lost a child to a cycling head injury in CT - they've raised money, gotten sponsors, etc etc to give away something like 25,000 helmets over 10-15 years or something crazy like that. Sad motivation but ultimately a good thing.
Finally if you get the state to make cycling a scholastic sport (read up on requirements etc) you may have a built in sponsor, the tax base.