The Sydney Cycling Sisters group has raised $7465, part of over two million fundraising effort by participating in the MS Sydney to Gong 2015 ride held on Sunday 1 November this year.
The MS Sydney to Gong ride has been held for the last 33 years in order to raise funds to support Australians suffering from Multiple Screlosis, a baffling and debilating disease.
Sydney Muslim Cyclists with Muslim brothers from Unity Grammar raised over $11,500 together while Ahmad Mourad achieved the third highest ranking by raising $18,536 in an individual category.
The group Sydney Cyclist Sisters was founded by Cindy Rahal an Occupational Therapy student from the University of Western Sydney
The focus of Cindy’s thesis was on the effects of Islamaphobia on Muslim women and how it affects them being not able to participate fully in the community.
During her research she discovered that Muslim women do not get out because of the negativity that is portrayed in the media against Islam and Muslims. Most women only felt comfortable staying at home.
This novel idea of creating a sisters cycling group to further her research began to form in Cindy’s mind because she felt this would be an avenue to allow Muslim women to go out into the community, participate in an activity on a regular basis, feel safe and leave their comfort zone at home.
In early April 2015, the Sydney Cycling Sisters Facebook page was born and members were asked to join this new exciting group which now has 550 plus members.
“It’s important that as Muslim women we are still able to do what we want to do without reference to other people and their perceptions about us and If you want to do something, do it, without compromising your values.” Cindy said.
Five women from the group participated in the MS Sydney to Gong 2015, namely, Cindy Rahal, May Fahmi, Assmaah Helal, Inas Karem and Eaman Badaui.
Hard work, planning and research were the tools that the women used to complete this monumental ride. They trained very hard prior to the event in order to ride steep up-hills and the dangerous down hills a distance of 54.4 km from Engadine.
“It was such an incredible feeling to see the finish line! We are definitely going to do it again next year inshallah we will have a bigger team and raise even more funds for MS.”, Cindy said.
For more information please visit the Facebook page, Sydney Cycling Sisters, https://www.facebook.com/sydneymuslimsisterscyclists/