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Encouraging Diversity, Muslim Cycling Group Features in BBC Documentary

A Liverpool cycling group aimed at promoting cycling among Muslim mothers, asylum seekers, and people from across the wider community is the subject of a new BBC documentary set to be aired tonight.

Our Toxteth Cycle Club documentary is about the Toxteth based Cycle of Life (COL), a cycling group founded in 2020 by Ibe Hayter.

Hayter, along with a team of staff and volunteers, works with children from low-income families as well as people in the community, many who have never cycled before.

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“I was surprised such a small organization would get national attention, but pleased the work we’re doing is being recognized. I hope other cities would follow suit by getting more people in cycling, especially from backgrounds of people who don’t normally cycle,” Ibe told Liverpool ECHO.

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Encouraging Diversity, Muslim Cycling Group Features in BBC Documentary - About Islam

New Friendships

Yasser Hadi Aldifayri, 18, one of the participants originally from Kuwait, said the program helped him make new friends.

“They teach us a lot of things, different parts of the bike like seat, wheel and chain and now it’s easy for me to fix my bike,” he said.

Ibe said: “For me personally it’s very central to our aims that ethnic minority children … can have equal access just like everyone else in the country.

“This programs not just about cycling, it’s also about the young people feeling part of the city, to get to know their peers and make friendships that last past the course”.

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Based at The Kuumba Imani Millenium Centre on Princes Road, Cycle of Life also runs a program targeting Muslim women.

Volunteer Shazia Chaudary, who leads Women on Bikes, said the stigma needs breaking.

“I’m trying to break down that stigma, to encourage [Muslim] women to come out for cycling and learn new skills,” she said.

“When I see them getting more confidence, this inspires me to keep going,” she said.