British Cycling Breeze champion Maryam Amatullah has been recognised for her outstanding work in her local community after becoming the latest recipient of the prestigious Points of Light award.
The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Prime Minister David Cameron makes daily announcements of the winners to celebrate, encourage and promote volunteering and the value that it brings to the country.
Keen to encourage her daughter to enjoy some fun and fresh air, Maryam started riding her bike regularly five years ago. She felt, in her own words, “odd” when out cycling wearing the hijab but this was just the start of her journey.
When British Cycling launched its Breeze Network in 2011, Maryam was immediately keen to get involved. A Breeze champion ever since, Maryam supports and inspires many women across Leicester, who might not otherwise have considered riding a bike. She also delivers regular adult cycle training and supports the temporary bike parks that British Cycling manages to promote its programmes.
Maryam said: “I’m always humbled and honoured to receive recognition for the work I do and it continues to motivate me.
"I simply just love seeing more women on bikes and will encourage and support any woman who wishes to do so. The women are always amazed how far they can go and the places they can visit on a bike.”
Maryam is the 291st winner of the Points of Light award which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA, first established by President George H W Bush.
British Cycling’s Breeze Network is the world’s largest, women’s cycling programme with over 75,000 women taking part and over 15,000 Breeze Rides delivered since 2011.
British Cycling president, Bob Howden, said: “Cycling is nothing without its volunteers and Maryam is a real credit to what is an army of people across the country who freely give up their time for the good of the sport.
"Breeze champions are volunteers who do brilliant work getting more women into cycling so it is especially pleasing to see someone like Maryam gain national recognition. Her work engaging more women to try our sport for the first time is inspiring and has made a huge difference in her local community.
“The Points of Light Awards are incredibly prestigious and everyone at British Cycling is incredibly proud of Maryam and all her wonderful achievements.”