A team of Hailsham stroke survivors cycled the equivalent distance of London to Brighton on indoor bikes at Hailsham Leisure Centre on Friday (June 13).
The riders took it in turns to cover the 56 miles as a team. The cycle ride was organised to raise awareness of stroke and raise funds for the Stroke Association.
The idea came from stroke survivor Nick Giles, 54, from Littlington, near Polegate. Before his stroke two years ago, Nick was a keen mountain biker. He hopes to return to outdoor cycling soon but, for now, is building up his strength, fitness and co-ordination at Hailsham Leisure Centre where he attends a weekly rehabilitation class with other stroke survivors and takes part in indoor cycling classes and gym workouts.
Nick said: “We wanted to show other people what is possible after a stroke and how exercise can make a huge difference to your recovery. The team included a number of stroke survivors and each cycled for as long as they felt comfortable. Some did ten minutes, others up to half an hour.”
A number of Hailsham Leisure Centre staff also took their turn in the saddle. Nick continued: “I was really pleased the instructors and staff helped us out and it was very fitting. I can’t speak highly enough of the Freedom Leisure team here.”
Steph Wadlow, Freedom Leisure Health Programmes Manager, said: “We were only too pleased to support the Stroke Group to help them show what they can do and how exercise has improved their health and wellbeing. Stroke survivors have so much life ahead of them and exercise is key to helping them manage any physical limitations they have. The members of my Stroke Group have all enjoyed significant health benefits from exercise and their sponsored bike ride activity just goes to show what can be achieved.”
Marilyn Sperring, 68, from Hailsham, had a stroke four years ago but still joins the Hailsham Stroke Group each Thursday. She said: “I used to love cycling outdoors but my balance is not so good now. The indoor stationary bikes are a great alternative and I love doing the classes with other people.”
Visit the Stroke Association www.stroke.org.uk. To find out more about the Stroke Group contact 01323 846755.