A disability cycling club based at Bradford University is appealing for public support after being nominated for a prestigious National Diversity Award.
Cycling 4 All, established in 2011, has been put forward by one of its members, John Walton, in the Disability Community Organisation category.
The awards, which will take place in London on September 26, are designed to recognise the dedication and devotion of voluntary groups in enhancing equality, diversity and inclusion within their local communities.
Project co-ordinator Adam Tasker, who co-founded the group, said being nominated had come as a “lovely surprise”.
“It came out of the blue, but it’s a real boost for everyone in the group and highlights the good work we are trying to do here in Bradford,” he said.
“We are definitely becoming more recognised in the wider community, and word of mouth is really getting the message out there. We just want to provide equal opportunities for everyone.”
The group started as a disability cycling scheme purely for students, and still runs weekly events for its members every Wednesday afternoon in Lister Park.
However Mr Tasker said he has noticed a shift in the dynamics of group members in recent times, with a wider range of people now attending, including a mix of disabled and able-bodied athletes.
“We do not discriminate across disability, ethnicity, gender or age, everything is all about inclusion,” he said.
“Calling something a disability-only sport can be off-putting, and it is much more fulfilling to have as diverse a mix as possible. It helps with the social element too, which is just as important as the physical side.”
The club has already received national recognition after winning Sporting Campaign of the Year at the NUS Disabled Students Conference Awards in 2013, and is currently expanding to branch out into wheelchair rugby and basketball, as well as non-sporting leisure activities such as gardening.
The scope of its community projects is also growing, working with organisers at Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope to secure a fully-inclusive element to this year’s Pace the Train challenge on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, with plans to host a disability sports day for students across the UK later this year.
“Sustainability, inclusivity and accessibility is the basis for all our projects, and we are very grateful and honoured to be nominated,” said Mr Tasker. “The individuals who take part in our activities really do benefit, and it is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience to help them along in some way. If people could make the effort and vote for us, that would be great.”
Online nominations are open until July 18, and can be made at nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/nominate. For more information on the group, visit cycling4all.org.uk.