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Newham Initiative Launched to Encourage Muslim Women to Cycle

A UK-based walking, wheeling and cycling charity has launched a new partnership with Cycle Sisters Newham to encourage and inspire Muslim women to cycle.

The partnership with Sustrans charity was announced during an Eid Cycling Celebration held at The View Tube community hub in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and attended by more than 30 women.

“Cycle Sisters Newham is such a ground-breaking and important project taking place here in Newham,” said Rokhsana Fiaz, Mayor of Newham, London Post reported.

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“The project inspires and enables Muslim women to cycle and I look forward to seeing this initiative grow as it inspires more women to join in and start cycling.”

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The Cycle Sisters Newham team has eight Ride Leaders who lead rides specially customized for Muslim women’s needs. This can include advice on cycling in modest clothing, halal café stops and timings around prayers.

“It’s fantastic to see this infectious enthusiasm the event created, it really goes to show how much joy cycling can bring into our lives,” Sarah Javaid, Programmes & Partnerships Lead for Cycle Sisters, said.

Breaking Barriers

According to the partnership, Sustrans will work with Newham Council and Cycle Confident and make cycle skills take-up easier, and with ViewTube Bikes to give women access to cycles.

“At Sustrans we are committed to breaking down barriers to ensure that cycling is for everyone. We are delighted to partner with Cycle Sisters to increase access to cycling for Muslim women and the wider community,” James Cleeton, Sustrans London Director, said.

A growing number of Muslim women have been taking part in different sports recently, in a celebration of diversity.

According to Sport England, only 18 percent of Muslim women take part in sports, compared to 30 percent of the total female population.

Six years ago, the figures were as low as 12 percent – indicating a rise in Muslim women taking up sport and fitness.

Muslims’ approach to sports is often determined by religious, cultural, and ethnic factors.

In general, Islam promotes good health and fitness and encourages both men and women to engage in physical activity to maintain healthy lifestyles.