The day will involve several lively presentations from Bike Club leaders who will discuss their projects and the difference cycling has made to young people's lives.
In attendance will be members of The Somali Community Regeneration Organisation, who recently established a Bike Club to give young people the means to explore their city and surrounding area. With funding from the national Bike Club programme, the group has gone mountain biking in and around Glasgow, improving their fitness levels and building skills through the Go Mountain Bike accreditation programme. They are now all set to buy their own mountain bikes so they can go even further.
Club Leader Ahmed Abdilahi said: “Until recently, the Somali community living in Glasgow had very little chance to experience outdoor activities. The Somali Bike Club addresses this organising regular bike trips outside the city so that members of the Somali community have equal opportunity to experience rural Scotland and get fit in the process.”
The Somali Bike Club will be joined by Liberton High School Bike Club which gives pupils the chance to try different forms of cycling and encourages them to incorporate cycling into their everyday lives. They are using Bike Club funding to buy a storage container for bikes that have been donated by the school community, so that the whole school can join in the fun. During the summer term some pupils will get involved in an innovative graffiti art project, where a street artist will help them decorate their container.
Ellie Forgan, the Active Schools Co-ordinator from Liberton said: “The opportunities Bike Club funding has provided for our pupils are immeasurable. Our storage container which will act as a ‘hub’ for cycling activity in the school and the local community. This will be a place where pupils can feel safe, have fun, learn about cycling and develop a passion for a wonderful lifelong activity.”
Bike Club has established 43 clubs for young people across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife, Falkirk and the Lothians, working closely with youth-focused services such as youth groups, schools, community groups, and parent-led groups.
Bike Club is led by a consortium of charities including UK Youth, ContinYou and CTC, the national cycling charity, and Youth Scotland.
Youth Scotland’s Network Development Manager Suzanne Forup said: “Bike Club in Scotland has been highly successful in engaging with young people who face multiple barriers to health and learning. Over the past year we’ve seen hundreds of young people get more active, learn new skills and participate in the running of their Bike Clubs. Many have never had the opportunity to experience the benefits of cycling before, but are now enjoying regular rides with their friends and families, becoming more independent and feeling fitter.”