Cycling a gran total of 500km in an international indoor cycling competition is cause for celebration for 15 Belong Wigan care village residents, but seeing their physical mobility and wellbeing dramatically improve, thanks to their participation, is the real cherry on the cake.
Belong Wigan participants made the UK top 10 in the ‘Road Worlds for Seniors’ competition and were commemorated at an awards ceremony hosted at the not-for-profit organisation’s village venue.
Jan Inge Ebbesvik, the president of the competition known as ‘Road Worlds for Seniors’, opened the ceremony by congratulating the village for making the top 50 in the world, and former GB cyclist Peter Matthews handed out medals to all participants.
The competition took place in the village’s state-of-the-art fitness gym, made possible thanks to Ryan Cadman, Belong Wigan gym instructor, who supported participants to ride as many kilometres as they could on the latest indoor cycle equipment donated by Sport England. Participants explored breath-taking landscapes through an attached screen, enabling riders a selection of over 1,700 virtual routes put together by the event’s organiser Motitech.
Resident Susan Winnard, who is registered deaf and 95% blind has been a true inspiration for the village by cycling the equivalent of two whole marathons, seeing her health rapidly improve as she commented: ‘I have loved every moment of this competition. Before joining Belong I had a bad fall, but after Ryan’s encouragement in the gym and taking part in cycling everyday, I feel a lot better and my knee and ankle don’t hurt anymore.’
Belong’s Ryan Cadman commented; ‘This competition has truly brought our customers together as they have worked really hard to reach our target of 500km. The benefits have been visible in all participants, and it has been inspiring to see people who are blind, deaf or have Parkinson’s disease still come down everyday to cycle and take part. Exercise is a fundamental part of Belong’s culture and we are committed to helping people stay active and independent for as long as possible, so taking part in the competition has given us the chance to provide an exciting innovative physical activity for customers as well as a bit of excitement knowing they were competing against counterparts around the world.’