Award for all-inclusive cyclists

MOSSLEY Cycle Racing Team (CRT) has been named Parasport club of the month for August.

“We are super proud to have the club-of-the-month accolade,” said club official Liz Birkeck.

“It is an amazing achievement. We’re just showing what the future can look like, that inclusivity does exist, and it can continue to exist in society, but also in sport as well.

“It’s not just about who is the best cyclist, our spirit is about equality.”

Someone who has fully embraced the club’s welcoming ethos is six-time Special Olympic gold medallist Kiera Byland who credits cycling with turning her life around.

Mossley cycle racing team

Having a learning disability with traits of autism and dyspraxia made Kiera’s school days difficult but since joining Mossley, her confidence has blossomed and she now delivers speeches to schools and universities, as well as continuing her success on the bike.

Her exploits have seen her recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list as she received a British Empire Medal for inspiring children in schools and her services to sport.

“I was shocked when I received the award (BEM), but I wouldn’t have got that recognition without Mossley,” Kiera said.

“The club and the British Cycling disability hub have given me the opportunity to coach and have the friendships with others.

“The thing with Mossley is, it doesn’t matter what disability you may have. We have para-riders, children and adults with learning disabilities, but then we also have the history of top mainstream riders, like Ben Swift, our club president.

“It doesn’t matter what your cycling level is. We are here to enjoy each other’s company, push each other and learn from each other.

“The lockdown was really difficult, particularly for our members’ mental and emotional health, not just the physical side.

“But when things get hard, like in lockdown, we come together as a team.”

The enthusiasm to bring people into cycling is visible from everyone at Mossley CRT. More than that, it is infectious, making them a richly deserving winner of the Parasport club of the month award according to the Parasport website.

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