I want to showcase the physical and mental strength
of an Afghan woman to Afghanistan and to the whole world.
My first encounter with Rukhsar Habibzai was in 2019. I was introduced to her and her teammates through an Afghan gentleman in Boise, Idaho. Our goal was to assist the team however we could; a group coaching program, clothing, equipment, training plans. We were immediately faced with technical challenges, we couldn’t seem to manage a satisfactory group WhatsApp call, we were working on sending some equipment and we faced challenges there, different groups had tried and had equipment stolen and nothing seemed to make it to the women’s team. To be honest, a few months passed without much action on my part, but these young women were always on my mind, motivated by the fact that Rukhsar and her teammates would often be physically and emotionally abused for riding bikes in Kabul yet they were determined to set an example of strength and unity to other young women around them. We had to do something. Then the crisis hit, the Taliban invaded and the messages were no longer about cycling, they were about life and death. You can read the Cyclingnews article here.
There were a lot of people who were helping these women evacuate, I stayed in touch with Ruksar through her evacuation process and just wondered what I could do to help. Her dream is to be an Olympic champion. I offered her a spot on the team (she was at the time in a military camp in Germany) she was overjoyed and said it gave her light at a very dark time. We kept things quiet for the following weeks until now. I can help her with all things cycling but we are asking for help to help set her back on her life path too. She is resettling in America, and we would like to help her on her way. – Thanks for reading, Nicola
Please join us in raising funds to support Rukhsar Habibzai.
TWENTY24 Cycling team is pleased to welcome Rukhsar as a development team member for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. We are raising funds under the Tam Cycling 501c3 umbrella. Every donation will go to helping Rukhsar restart her life in America. Funds raised through this effort will specifically support housing costs, food, utilities, clothing, books, and tuition. You can DONATE HERE
Thank you in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.
This fundraising effort is not to fund a cycling team—it is to support a young woman who left her country with nothing and has dreams and aspirations to be the best athlete, student, and leader that she can be—to be an asset to her community and new country and to continue her humanitarian work.
Support Afghan Cyclist in Starting her New Life
She has inspired many girls to take a stand for their rights and she continues to do so. Her industriousness, vibrant nature, humility, kindness, and warrior-like spirit has helped her find her place in her personal life and in society as a true leader. She has participated in many national and international conferences to leverage her seat for the voice of her peers, and to draw attention to the issue of violence against women. In addition to being a successful sportswoman, Rukhsar studied dentistry at Cheragh Medical University, with the foresight that this will help her further give back to her community.
Her favorite quote is by Theodore Roosevelt: “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
The funds will go to her resettlement and education.