SHAMSUL Abdin, HSBC Analyst, father of four and part of H&K Cycle Club has been raising money for charities for 10 years through the popular cycling club that was originally launched as a support network and social outlet for Muslim men in East London.
The club now has over 200 members and has taken on some extraordinary challenges to raise over £2m for charitable organisations that support women, children and communities throughout the Middle East and Africa.
Shamsul recently organised and rode with 32 club cyclists from Mecca to Medina, the Hijrah Ride, in February this year after becoming the first cycling club in the world to complete this challenging journey earlier in 2022. They endured a three-day ride across some of the most challenging desert conditions, such as strong headwinds and temperatures hitting 40C.
This ride, which was organised with the leading UK charity, Muntada Aid to raise money for Little Hearts, its flagship project to help congenital heart defects from underprivileged backgrounds, is just one of many campaigns Shamsul and the club have embarked on over the last 10 years.
The team cycle from London to the South Coast once a year and also takes on the ‘Three Cities’ challenge every year which involves cycling to 3 cities in Europe. This challenge has been going on for 9 years and each year they start from the city they finished in the previous year. They have now cycled to 27 cities and in this 10th year of the ride are aiming to finish in Istanbul to mark the end of this epic European tour in the city that is the gateway between Europe and Asia.
Along with offering a social and exercise outlet for hundreds of men in his community the club has also supported and helped members with mental and physical health problems and brought hundreds of families together whilst always focussing on helping underprivileged women and children from the Middle East and Africa.
To date, the money raised by the club has built a maternity clinic and 52 homes for refugees in Syria, solar-powered water stations in Africa giving 20,000 people fresh and safe water, Schools in Ethiopia and Mali, a deaf and blind school in Somalia, funded 300 heart operations for children with serious heart defects, over 1000 cataract operations and many other amazing achievements.
Shamsul was raised on a council estate in Bethnal Green, East London and worked hard to offer his wife and children a better life. Having started his career in a variety of jobs including fast food chains and call centres he eventually managed to secure a junior role at a stockbroker and his hard work and commitment helped him move quickly up the ranks to his current role as an analyst at HSBC’s Investment bank.
It was a colleague at HSBC who started his recent passion for cycling as he convinced him to start using his bike to commute to the office. He soon noticed the health benefits both physical and mental and started to convince some friends to cycle with him at the weekend. This led to the launch of the H&K cycling club in 2013.
Shamsul Abdin, Head of H&K Cycle Club, commented:
“I am so proud of everything the club has achieved over the last 10 years. Seeing the results of the hard work put in to manage the club and all the miles cycled makes it all worthwhile. We will continue to work together as a community to support charitable campaigns throughout the Middle East and Africa and hopefully help many more people.