Starting as a grassroots project that was sparked by a conversation between two friends, Andy Edwards and Mani Arthur, Diversity in Cycling sets out to explore the experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) cyclists taking up cycling as a sport for the first time.
The report is supported by British Cycling and includes a foreword by CEO Julie Harrington.
Diversity in Cycling focuses on the club cycling scene and includes contributions from over 60 BAME riders, including men and women and many Muslim riders. At this pivotal moment in Britain’s cycling history, the aim is to make cycling as a sport diverse and inclusive for all.
The report can be downloaded from the British Cycling website.
British Cycling notes that the latest figures from Sport England’s Active Lives Survey… ‘provide a sobering snapshot of the disparity in participation levels between different ethnic groups.’ 41% of White British people surveyed had engaged with cycling in any form in 2017-18, compared to around a third of people within the Black (35.8%) and South Asian (32.5%) communities.
Julie Harrington, British Cycling Chief Executive, said: “To truly transform Britain into a great cycling nation, we must strive to make a difference – not just for people who ride bikes, but for our communities, future generations and our country as a whole.
“A crucial part of this is for us to not only champion our greatest achievements, but to recognise where we may fall short. Whilst continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation, and there have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, the lack of diverse ethnic representation, and subsequent sense of belonging within cycling – for Black, Asian and ethnic minorities to reference this report – is clear.”
The report includes contributions from a diverse group of riders with differing backgrounds and experiences of cycling:
Mani Arthur is am experienced club cyclist, racing road races and crits. Mani rides for Finsbury Park CC and is the founder of Black Cyclists Network, which aims to provide pathways for riders from diverse backgrounds to enter the sport.
Biola Babawale only took up cycling last year, but has already joined all-women club Velociposse and started racing. When not riding her bike, Biola is a credit analyst, with experience of workplace diversity in the financial services industry.
Junaid Ibrahim is the co-founder of Brothers on Bikes (BoB), which promotes cycling within the Muslim community. BoB has over 600 members. Junaid is a schoolteacher.
Yewande Adesida competes in women’s track racing for SES Racing, finishing 10th in the National Women’s Keirin Championships. Yewande is studying a PhD at Imperial College.
Nasima Siddiqui co-founded cycling brand WyndyMilla in 2009 and is a very experienced road cyclist. Nasima is Muslim and she has provided valuable input to the report.
PJ Dulay is a very experienced club cyclist of South Asian heritage. He rides with the Fireflies and Cicli Artigianali. When not cycling, PJ works in the digital music and content industries.
Matt Kumar rides for Kingston Wheelers and is of Sri Lankan heritage. He has stepped up to be an ambassador for the club and leads social rides that are accessible to newcomers.
Andy Edwards has spent most of his life as a club and racing cyclist, working on music industry diversity initiatives has helped inform his contribution to this report.