Women's Cycling Group Bringing Different Ethnic Groups Together to Share Fun and Health Benefits

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), August 21, 2012 | Go to article overview

Women's Cycling Group Bringing Different Ethnic Groups Together to Share Fun and Health Benefits


Byline: Annie Brown

HEADS turn when the ladies from the Women Learn To Ride Project cycle past with their headscarves fluttering under their helmets.

But the cyclists are unfazed, lost in the fresh air and freedom of getting around on two wheels.

Zara Mohammed, 21, from Glasgow, is a project leader and student. She said cycling has become a perfect chance for women from all races to come together, to exercise and mix.

She said: "We still get comments, like it looks silly to have a headscarf on under a helmet. But our ladies don't really care, they are having too much of a good time."

The Women Learn To Ride Project is funded by the Forestry Commission and Cycling Scotland and, although it initially targeted women from the black and minority ethnic communities, it is open to all.

The group's members are women who can't ride a bike or lack confidence in cycling.

It is not always easy for women, especially those juggling families, to get out and exercise.

And there are often greater barriers for females from black and minority ethnic groups.

There are dress codes to consider and many are only comfortable exercising with other women.

South Asians also face a greater health risk from conditions such as diabetes, where the risk is as much as five times that of the wider community.

For a South Asian person between the ages of 25 and 75, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is now about 20 per cent, compared with four per cent in the whole community.

A team from Glasgow University discovered that people from the region have muscles that do not burn fat as well as those of Europeans. …

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