“Bike Host” mentorship program welcomes newcomers to Toronto’s cycling community

TORONTO, June 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Thanks to an award-winning partnership between CultureLink Settlement Services and the Toronto Cyclists Union, newcomers are joining Toronto's vibrant cycling community as Multilingual Cycling Ambassadors.

This summer, newcomers who ride a bicycle can be matched with Canadian mentors with CultureLink's Bike Host program. They will gain valuable Canadian experience in community outreach and event-planning, while learning about the rights and responsibilities of cyclists in Toronto.

"Volunteering with CultureLink's cycling program has been a great way to network and practice my skills in my new home," says Lynda Young. She immigrated to Canada in 2010 from Singapore, where she worked as a teacher and organized cycling events. She recently landed a contract with the Toronto Cyclists Union.

"We look forward to welcoming new Cycling Ambassadors through Bike Host," says Andrea Garcia, Director of Advocacy and Operations for the Toronto Cyclists Union. "Cycling is a growing trend globally and we want to learn from international experiences to make Toronto a safer, healthier and greener city."

The first "speed-matching" for mentors and newcomers will be on Saturday June 18, at Lillian H. Smith Public Library, 239 College Street, 10am - 1:30pm. CultureLink will continue to match newcomers with mentors throughout the summer.

View the video here: http://www.culturelink.net/index.php/programs/community-connections/mentorship-program/bike-host

Bike Host is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Image with caption: "Participants in CultureLink's Bike Host program enjoy a ride on Toronto Island. (CNW Group/CultureLink Settlement Services)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110615_C6384_PHOTO_EN_01.jpg

SOURCE CultureLink Settlement Services

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