We are in the initial stages of bringing several Afghan cyclists to the United States next summer for a cultural exchange and training camp. We are excited to work with the law firm Hogan Lovells who is helping us with the logistics and has officially come on as a sponsor of the team to assist in the expenses of getting the team to the US for training camps, coaching clinics, and community rides.
The idea? Expose these young women to cycling at its highest level with trips to Philadelphia to watch a World Championship women’s race, introduce them to top coaches, professional racers, and visit the US Olympic Training Center. We also plan to have their participation at several Afghan Cycles screenings after it premieres so that they can take the stage and own their own story.
At the same time, we aim to build long term support of these young women in the communities that support cycling and have supported our work in Afghanistan. This is an opportunity to engage with these young women directly in community rides and some private events. We will be organizing fundraisers and rides primarily in Colorado and California, but there may be some east coast venues as well.
We are raising the funds necessary to bring 6-8 girls here for one month and during that time we will also be discussing opportunities and next steps with the team. One goal is to coordinate further education with two of the members that would like to be trained as coaches. They are studying to be sports trainers at Kabul University, but getting them trained as cycling coaches could provide a job source and longevity with the women’s team looking ahead.
We are excited to engage the Mountain2Mountain audience and community to welcome these young women to the US next summer. If you want to contribute to support getting the girls here you can donate at www.mountain2mountain.org/donate
If you want to volunteer your time, open your home, or ride with the girls while they are here, we will be coordinating that effort once we know dates and logistics. Stay tuned and thank you for believing in this program and these young women.