Biking Program for Newcomers
I’m new to Canada and love that I was able to meet the community.
A program participant
From July 1st to August 31st, 2023, ICA embarked on an exciting journey to introduce newcomers to the joys of cycling, not only to improve their physical well-being but also to become ambassadors for a more eco-conscious and healthy lifestyle within their communities.
The Biking Program was geared towards supporting youth and adults with information, training, and resources that would help them use their bikes as part of their daily routine.
Alkarim Versi, ICA’s Director of Finance
Immigrants from over 10 different countries, our participants brought a wealth of diverse cultural backgrounds, fostering a strong sense of community and creating a rich cultural exchange. Newcomers had the chance to discover the beauty of Victoria by bike, delving into local indigenous history, and exploring local trails, enhancing their connection to their new home.
The safety training and outing increased our confidence in riding bikes in the city. We learned a lot about biking rules in Victoria.
Another program participant
Safety was paramount, and our staff members ensured comprehensive training to guarantee a secure and enjoyable experience for all. Two beginner rider clinics with interpreters ensured everyone felt confident and comfortable, kick-starting their biking adventures.
Even folks who had discomforts around biking stepped outside their comfort zones to try something new. It really speaks to the trust clients have in ICA and the kind of care our staff provide.
Salma Ihsan, ICA’s Training coordinator
Rahila, an immigrant from Afghanistan in her 70s, was able to learn about road signals with the help of an ICA interpreter. The growth in her confidence was a cherished moment.
The summer biking program allowed us to bring together 51 participants of all ages on five different dates. Collectively the group covered almost 70 kilometers, a testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of the participants.
It was also a great way to share the joy and freedom of biking, connect with amazing people, learn from one another, and spend sunny afternoons together, all while unraveling the city’s biking secrets and discovering our community. I really hope to see those pedals turning!
Daniela Cadenas, ICA’s Settlement Client Navigator
Encouraged by the success of this program, we are exploring opportunities to expand our biking initiatives in the coming future.
Tariro Murwira, ICA’s Community Engagement Coordinator