Give Michaele’s fundraiser a spin
A fitness instructor who beat addiction hopes to increase understanding about the challenges surrounding drug use at a fundraiser tomorrow.
Michaele Parfitt-Smith feared that the issue was “not considered important”.
She called on the community to sign up for one of seven spin classes when groups will be raising money for Focus, a substance abuse intervention agency.
Ms Parfitt-Smith said: “September is National Recovery Month, so it’s a time for recovering addicts and people all over the world to recognise the whole struggle behind addiction and recovery, as well as mental illness and how that ties in.
“There has always been a grey area, we are still struggling as an island to provide for both of those groups of people.”
She added: “It is a time for those who have overcome addiction to celebrate, share their stories and to remember those we have lost.
“The funds I raise go to Focus, which is a hands-on resource in the community for addicts.
“They provide counselling, treatment for referrals, local and overseas, and a food programme for those who need it.”
Ms Parfitt-Smith, 38, organised her first Ride for Recovery event last year when $500 was donated to the charity and she is determined to smash that this week.
She said: “I’m hoping to get more people to come out and support this fundraiser, and bring about awareness of what September is all about.”
The classes, which feature stationary bikes, will be held at the new home of Streaker’s Spin Studio on the upper level of Beast Gym’s larger Dundonald Street location from 8am until 1.30pm.
Ms Parfitt-Smith explained: “We’re going to mix it up; they will be geared for a mixed crowd.
“I will be teaching the 10am and 10.45am classes.
“It’s going to be open for everyone to come and try, even for the first time.”
Focus explained on its website that it “provides outreach, treatment and supportive residency to persons living with substance use disorder”.
The cause is close to Ms Parfitt-Smith, who was addicted to crack cocaine for about 13 years.
She got clean through Narcotics Anonymous and marked five years free from active addiction back in February.
The fitness enthusiast explained: “It makes me feel good.
“It’s a struggle sometimes because I feel like it’s not something that’s talked about so much.
“It’s a struggle trying to get sponsorship.
“This year, I went to a few businesses to ask them to match the funds that we raise.”
However, she said her efforts were unsuccessful.
Ms Parfitt-Smith added: “It’s just not something that’s considered important.”
However, she was “very grateful” to soft drinks company John Barritt&Son, which will provide refreshments.
She added: “This is something that I’m going to continue to do. I feel like this is my part; it’s my passion.”
• Spaces were still available this week in classes at 10am, 10.45am, 11.30am, 12.15am and 1pm on Saturday. To book, message 532-7746 or 518-6219
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