Teacher and co-founder of Brothers on Bikes, Junaid Ibrahim, joined British Cycling as a scholar in 2022.
As a passionate cyclist and aspirant racer, with a passion for inspiring the next generation, Junaid takes us through his journey to date.
“From the induction back in January in Manchester, things have been World Class. My personal highlight is the short session with Bloomy (Head Coach – BMX, Great Britain Cycling Team), the humbleness he showed that he, despite winning Gold at the Tokyo Games with Beth, doesn't have all the answers, and that it's the teamwork of the whole organisation which allows the Golds to flow. It's that same love I've felt from BC that makes me feel part of the larger set-up.
The opportunities I have been able to attend, like the Track Nationals in Newport, have been absolutely phenomenal. Just being around former Talent Team coach, Marshall Thomas, and Dr Chester Hill, the knowledge & insight was just oozing out effortlessly.
I am on my way to completing my Level 2 coaching badge, again courtesy to the Scholarship programme, and part of my journey has also included taking up racing, achieving promotion to Cat 3 on the road, the benefits of which have been massive. What I gain from racing gets added to my coaching repertoire, whilst what I gain from coaching plays into my arsenal when out racing.
I have been a teacher Hackney schools for 7 years and even though it is a very cycling centric borough, there has been an even bigger push for active travel since the Covid-19. With this in mind, there have been various initiatives being pushed to increase the uptake of cycling for school-aged children, including the City Academies run by British Cycling, a program to introduce, train and identify future Olympic hopefuls in inner city schools and clubs. Since taking up the Scholarship, I have been super lucky to be involved with the City Academies, an immense project which I believe will be life changing for the participants involved, whether they go onto make it to the Olympics, or continue riding recreationally. Initially I started by helping and learning tonnes from Izzy, before going onto complete a few courses which now allows me to lead my own weekly sessions. Despite the challenges involved with the academy, like space & timings, it has been truly inspiring seeing the kids develop from just weekly hourly sessions, with many having the potential to make it to the next stage. The project remains in its early days, as it extends, I wish to do the same. I’m super keen to get more involved once time allows and I feel like I owe so much more.
Back in 2015, I helped create a club called Brothers on Bikes. To this day, the club continues to introduce cycling to and attracts predominantly the Muslim community across the country. The network has grown to well over a thousand riders, increasing the health potential for generations to come. Reserved for the higher echelons of the sport, the formal training I am gaining remains rare amongst the club. As Brothers on Bikes continues to grow, I would love to share what I have acquired.
The scholarship truly is incredible, with skills and coaching gained which will aide all facets of life. I cannot wait to see where the scholarship takes me next!”