The AlManarah Covision Group for Tandem Bikes is an active member of a sports association that brings together all the tandem teams for the blind and participates in joint cycling activities such as Blind Day, the Israeli Tandem Championship and the Eilat Sportiada. As part of the group, people with blindness, age 14-70, get the opportunity and tremendous experience to ride a bicycle every week, outdoors for 25-30 km, for 4 hours, assisted by Captain See, a front rider. Our tandem biking group is a unique team connecting people with And without disabilities from Arab and Jewish society in Israel.
The Covision Group is one of AlManarah’s groundbreaking projects,and was the first group of such sort in Arab society for people with visual impairments who cannot move around freely. A cycling group that combines challenging sporting activities with a safe and secure support system, along with social experience, will give people with blindness an opportunity to break boundaries and experience empowerment and a sense of ability. The opportunity to experience free and fast movement in space will contribute not only to their personal image, but also to their social image. These individuals should be seen as they are, as people of ability, aspirations and achievements. In addition, this project will serve as an address for volunteering cyclists from Arab society.
These blind and visually impaired riders are harbingers of an important message for both the visually impaired community and society at large: a person with a disability deserves equal participation in aspects of life. Furthermore, the project will serve as a means of raising awareness of people with disabilities in general, and of the world of people with disabilities in particular.
Today, Covision members include ten visually impaired riders and approximately 30 non-disabled members. All members volunteer and most of them are from Nazareth and the surrounding area. The AlManarah CoVision Group has been active and vibrant since 2017. It has a regulated bicycle storage facility (in agreement with the Jezreel Valley Regional Council). In October 2018, we participated in the 38th Sportiada in Eilat and won the Cup, and we also participated in the 39th Sportiada held at the end of October 2019.
It should be noted that at the founding stages of the group, we were assisted by a skilled guide from ‘Yes and No’ group and a large group of professional cyclists from Arab society, and we also were honored by early donation of used bicycles from ‘Yes and No’ group.