Why I’m Supporting stRIDE17
I’m very proud to be joining a team of inspirational women as they embark on a 450 mile cycle challenge over 8 days to raise money and awareness for Alzheimers Society and Dementia UK. Many of those taking part in this challenge have been impacted in someway by dementia, either losing love ones or having someone close to them currently fighting the disease.
Many people think that dementia is a natural part of ageing, but it is in fact a disease and the leading cause of death in England and Wales. There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and this number is set to rise to over 1 million by 2022. Currently 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 are affected with 40,000 people under 65 living with dementia in the UK, yet dementia research is desperately underfunded.
The founder of stRIDE17, Virginia Bailey, is particularly passionate about raising awareness and funds for this incurable disease as her father is currently fighting dementia. stRIDE17 aims to combine two messages, the first being that by leading a healthy active lifestyle you can help prevent diseases such as dementia and secondly the route that the challenge will take considers the impacts of dementia in that memories from the past can often come to the forefront of a sufferers mind. The 450 mile ride will follow a route via significant places and memories from Virginia’s fathers life; departing in Liverpool where he grew up and met Virgina’s mother, to finishing in Shrewsbury where Virginia spent her childhood, the route will include the Isle of Man, the Lake District and the north of Wales.
The team have been training relentlessly for months now, combining long distance training rides with intense early morning spinning sessions and it has been inspirational seeing their commitment and dedication. Unfortunately my busy training and competition schedule doesn’t allow me to train for this challenge in quite the same way, however, I am delighted to be able to join them for a section of their route as an Ambassador of the challenge, and it is with special thanks to Team Hybrid that I am able to do this.
Team Hybrid have supported me with a Cougar Power Assist hand cycle since 2016 and I have enjoyed using the bike as a training tool outside of tennis. I am now very much looking forward to be putting myself to the next test having joined the team for my first training ride in Bracknell recently where I completed 25 miles, the rest of the team finished 50miles that day!
It was inspirational to see how the team all worked together to motivate each other along the miles, especially up hill. Thankfully I was able to use the power assist function to keep up and assist with the inclines.
I’m heading to South Africa for my next competition but when I’m back I look forward to joining the girls again and hopefully going a bit further!
If you would like to get behind stRIDE17 or would like further information about the challenge you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, follow the teams progress on Twitter @stRIDE_17 or donate via stRIDE17’s fundraising page at http://bit.ly/2owzRNP