London-based cycling club the Black Cyclists Network has announced the creation of the first British domestic racing team for black, Asian and minority ethic (BAME) riders. The club aims to fund a ten-rider squad for the 2021 season, as well as hosting events and establishing an outreach program.
The Black Cyclists Network was founded in 2018 by Mani Arthur and currently boasts over 100 members, "including white members and supporters of diversity." The stated mission of the club is to connect and encourage cyclists of colour and the wider community to take up cycling.
The domestic racing team is currently made up of nine riders, including one at Elite level and four in the second category. The aim is to add one further rider in order to race next year.
A Gofundme page has been set up by the club, with a £10,000 aim which will go towards supporting the team in 2021, as well as grassroots efforts. These will include developing an outreach program to encourage beginners to take up cycling, and funding events to raise awareness about diversity in the sport.
"The Black Cyclists Network is more than a club," said Arthur in a statement released by the club.
"We are a community built to address the lack of representation in the cycling world. There are a lot of cyclists from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the UK and around the world, yet very few resources cater for our communities.
"With the launch of the Black Cyclists Network team we aim to give much-needed visibility to people of colour in the sport to inspire and engage a new audience to the physical, mental and social benefits of cycling."
The clubs's GoFundMe page, which was set up on Wednesday evening, has already seen over 200 people donated, reaching the halfway point of the fundraising target within 24 hours.
We created BCN to challenge the status quo and show riders that look like us, that there is a community for them. This project is going to amplify the excellent work we have been doing.Every Little Helps 🖤✊🏿Support the Black Cyclists Network Race Team https://t.co/4kTxw6JB2mJune 17, 2020
We needed a community so we created one. We now have a community where we can support each other in a sport we are vastly under-represented in. 🖤🖤🖤 . . What we do looks like fun because it is. This is how we get down. 🕺🏿🕺🏿🕺🏿 . . . . . . . . . . #blackcyclistsnetwork #blackcyclists #blackcyclist #cycling #blm #blmuk #blacklivesmatter #diversityincycling #brothersonbikes #blackathletes #blacksonbikes #instacycling #lovecycling #fromwhereweride #roadslikethese #ridejahbike #rubbersidedown #officialcycling #cyclingweekly #mycyclingweekend #bgdb #majortaylor #britishcycling #diversity #equality #freedom #protest #fightforjustice Black Cyclists Network
A photo posted by @blackcyclistsnetwork on Jun 15, 2020 at 10:04am PDT
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