A disability cycling club based at the University of Bradford has been nominated for this year’s Community Stars Awards, designed to recognise unsung heroes who make a difference in communities across the district.
Cycling 4 All (C4A), established in 2011, has been nominated in the Community Group category, for “leading the way” nationally in the delivery of fully-inclusive sport.
The group started as a free disability cycling scheme purely for students at the university, but now provides sessions in local schools and the Bradford community, working in partnership with the Youth Service, British Cycling, and Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure.
Project co-ordinator Adam Tasker, who co-founded the group, said being nominated had come as a “great surprise.”
“We’re getting increasingly busy and popular, but it’s always nice to have that hard work recognised,” he said.
The group worked with 376 students at the university during the 2013/14 academic year, and more than 5,000 other people at a range of community events, including the MAD (Music, Art and Dance) festival in City Park last month, inspired by the district’s involvement in the Tour de France.
A number of students, all with some form of disability, currently volunteer their time on the project to boost their social and professional skills, recently organising and delivering a multi-sport day featuring inclusive cycling, wheelchair rugby league, archery and boccia to 80 non-disabled school pupils.
C4A runs weekly events for its members in Lister Park, and Mr Tasker said the group is working with Youth Services to try and develop the site into a UK disability cycling hub.
“I’m proud to be able to say we’ve raised the profile of disability sport, both in the university and now the community,” he said.
“We lit a spark and tried to engage people, and it’s starting to develop.
“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.”
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 under consideration for a prestigious National Diversity Award.
Michael Allhouse, of the Bradford University Students Union, who nominated the group, said: “C4A is a great example of home-grown Bradford success.
“Disabled students didn’t have the same opportunities to take part in sport before the group began, and were often marginalised.
“C4A highlighted the discrepancy in student provision and addressed this to deliver inclusive sports and promote sustainability.”
The honours are being organised by the Telegraph & Argus and Bradford Council to ensure hard-working volunteers are rewarded for their efforts in their neighbourhoods.
Nominations, which must be received by Monday, September 8, will be whittled down by a panel of judges before a shortlist goes to public vote.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony at City Hall on December 8 where they will each be presented with the prestigious Bradford Medal.