It’s been almost two years since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan. Women are forbidden to play sport or to continue their education. The Taliban have removed all women’s basic rights.
With the help of a UK based charity Help Children Now, Mina and Arefa had to leave their families behind but managed to fled their country and escape the Taliban. The girls arrived in the United Kingdom in late, October 2022.
As refugees they spent one year in hiding, fearing for their lives. In October 2002 Mina and Arefa started re-training as professional cyclists under the expert guidance of coach James Hey of The Cycle Coach. The girls train six days a week and learn English in their spare time with great support from the charity ‘Help Children Now’ who campaigned for our freedom and resettlement in the UK.
Mina and Arefa have recently participated in their first international competition for their country at the Asian Road Championships in Thailand and now have their sights set on being the first cyclists to ever represent Afghanistan at the Paris 2024 Olympics.