Canadian team riding to promote mental health awareness and recovery through physical fitness
WHITBY, ON, April 25, 2012 /CNW/ - On Sunday, May 20th, twenty-one Canadian soldiers will join riders supporting Britain's Help for Heroes in Portsmouth, England for a tour of a lifetime. This first Wounded Warriors Bike Team is participating in the May 2012 Big Battlefield Bike Ride through France and Belgium to increase awareness of and decrease the stereotypes around mental health issues, to raise funds for the treatment of Canadian Forces Members and for other more personal reasons - their own recovery therapy from Operational Stress Injuries (OSI).
In preparation for the six-day, 550 kilometre journey, the 21 Canadian soldiers have been busy training for many weeks on their own. On Friday, April 27th, the team will come together as a group for the first time on their Cervélo S2 bikes donated by the Canadian bicycle manufacturer.
"Innovative programs such as the Wounded Warriors Bike Team can make a real difference in the recovery of our members who are struggling with Operational Stress Injuries, Said Peter MacKay. "I am proud to participate in Friday's event and I look forward to following their progress of our Wounded Warriors in their Battlefield Ride and afterwards."
Photo-op Friday, April 27 - Rain or Shine
0800 Members of the media are invited to join the riders at 0800 sharp at the foot of Cherry Beach as they ride to Sugar Beach.
0930 Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Peter MacKay will meet along Sugar Beach (foot of Jarvis Street).
To follow the riders on Twitter: @wwcajames; @wwcaphil; @wwcawayne
To donate/support a rider: http://woundedwarriors.ca/bike-ride-2012/
Canada's Wounded Warriors has partnered with British Charity HELP for HEROES to participate in the 2012 Big Battlefield Bike Ride. WoundedWarriors.ca is funding the ride for the 21 Canadian Forces Members who have all been affected by mental health issues as a result of their service.
"Physical fitness is recognized as an important path to recovery especially from mental illness. The Big Battlefield Bike Ride is designed for soldiers," said Captain Wayne Johnston, Founder, Wounded Warriors and Officer Commanding Bike Team. "Our Wounded Warriors team will have the chance to ride alongside our British allies, to share experiences and to raise funds for treatment of others with Operational Stress Injuries."
The challenging 550 kilometre, six-day journey starts on Sunday, May 20 in Portsmouth, England, at the foot of the Admiral Nelson's ship HMS Victory. The route runs through the historic battlefields of France with stops in Caen, Dieppe, Amiens, Arras, Ypres and Dunkirk. The tour ends on Saturday, May 26 on the pier in Dunkirk harbour. A highlight of the ride will be a special ceremony at Vimy Ridge accompanied by the 250 British riders. http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/challenges-2012-big-battlefield-bikeride.html
About Wounded Warrior.ca
Founded in 2006, Wounded Warriors.ca is a non-profit organization that helps Canadian Forces members - be they full time or reservists - who have been wounded or injured in their service to Canada since 1990. We help find solutions for current and former members of the Canadian Forces where gaps have left them in need. While providing programs to all members of the Canadian Forces who have been wounded or injured, our primary focus is on reservist mental health. Our secondary focus is on physical health support, and tertiary focus is on life skills development for all members of the Canadian Forces who have been wounded or injured. In general, our effort is roughly allocated as follows: 60% of our resources to pursuing mental health initiatives - especially for reservists; 30% to physical health support; and 10% to the development of life skills. For further information visit http://woundedwarriors.ca/
For further information: