Intelligent Health has created a lasting legacy of physical activity in Birmingham following the establishment of Handsworth’s first ever community cycling club.
Launched this week at Handsworth Park, the Handsworth Beat the Street Community Cycling Club will provide residents with the opportunity to build their cycling skills and confidence through community bike rides across Birmingham and the West Midlands.
Developed in partnership between Beat the Street, Big Birmingham Bikes, Handsworth Wellbeing Centre, Cycling UK, and Handsworth Community, the development of the groups will include extensive training of its members as ride leaders, and Cycle Instructors, as well as ongoing support with access to bikes at the Handsworth Wellbeing Centre Cycle Hub.
David Cox, Chair of Cycling UK, said: “Cycling is a great way to keep fit, explore your neighbourhood and make friends. I was delighted to ride over to Handsworth Wellbeing Centre this week to be at the launch of the new Handsworth Beat the Street Community Cycling Club supported by a partnership between Beat the Street and Cycling UK. The enthusiasm of this group of women riders many on their orange Big Birmingham Bikes was inspiring.
“I want to thank all the staff and volunteers that have made this happen but we know that the Club will be a sustainable part of the local community.”
Following the completion of a hugely successful Beat the Street challenge in Birmingham, Intelligent Health have been working with residents in Handsworth to provide new opportunities to keep the community active.
Over the past several months, Beat the Street and Big Birmingham Bikes have delivered free women’s only bike sessions at Handsworth Wellbeing Centre which have enabled up to fifty women to build their confidence and improve their cycling skills. The launch of the new cycling club follows the overwhelming popularity of the weekly bike riding sessions.
Beat the Street’s women only bike riding sessions have given women such as Sam Sahdra new confidence in their ability to ride a bike — thanks to the skills developed at Beat the Street’s sessions, Sam has been able to join charity bike rides around her local area. Sam said: “Being part of this group is like being part of one big family, I felt very determined that I wanted to learn and practised regularly, socialising with other ladies in the group is really enjoyable, I feel more active and have confidence when cycling now, which I certainly didn’t have previously.”
Speaking about the launch of the new Cycling Club, Beat the Street Birmingham Engagement Manager — Asad Agha — said: “The launch of the Handsworth Beat the Street Community Cycling Club is the culmination of months of work with key stakeholders and the community. Although the Beat the Street live game encourages people to get moving, our work following the challenge ensures that changes in activity are sustainable and long-lasting.”
Intelligent Health’s engagement teams in the West Midlands will be working together to develop a ‘Beat the Street Cycling Network’.