From the 7th till the 16th of June, 17 Australian participants of all ages, abilities and strengths completed CyclePower, a 550km ride around the circumference of Fiji.
The aim of the ride was to raise much-needed funds for people with disability in Victoria, and support those living in Fiji living with disability, by demonstrating their sporting power.
This year there were seven handcyclists, the event’s largest contingency since it began in 2011. A handcycle is a type of arm-powered recumbent bike with three wheels.
CyclePower Fiji became more than the team could have imagined, changing peoples opinions and attitudes along the way.
The terrain was incredibly challenging, with hills were at times never ending, with steep climbs at long distances. Paralympians Shelly Chaplin and Leanne Del Toso believe it was their hardest physical challenge to date.
CyclePower gave participants the opportunity to meet locals with disability, and show them that anything is possible, no matter what your ability. They were able to talk about the issue with local chiefs, providing their experiences and encouragement.
The participants met with members of the Fijian Paralympic Committee and donated a wheelchair basketball chair. They also donated sports equipment to Nadi Special Development School.
CyclePower created a family between not only the participants but also locals they met along the way, proving the power of sport, and its ability bring people together.
Fiji was a country of vast greenery, clear seas and smiles and a place where a group of 17 CyclePower participants experienced an incredible journey, beyond what they could have imagined.