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Charity drive on pedals for Edinburgh awards

Get spinning: Court House Squash and Wellness’s signature “spinathon” fundraiser will benefit the Duke of Edinburgh Awards this year (Photograph supplied)

The island’s Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award programme will benefit from charity pedal power next week.

Gym Court House Squash and Wellness selected the organisation for its upcoming “spinathon” fundraiser on exercise bikes.

Court House manager and instructor Alison Ince said she appreciated the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award because it was not “just about one component”.

She added: “I grew up in the Brownies, Girl Guides and Outward Bound programmes and I still draw from the things I learnt then.

“I was initially drawn to the award programme because of my love of outdoor activities and fitness.

“Much of my free time is now spent working with a wonderful team on the Standards and Training Committee so that we can keep delivering a quality international framework for the award at a local level.”

The club has held an annual fundraiser since it opened in 2009.

Charities such as the Bermuda Red Cross, Bermuda Diabetes Association, Friends of Hospice and Beyond Rugby have all benefited. This year’s event will take place at the gym, in Victoria Place, lower level, Victoria Street, Hamilton, on Saturday, October 21.

The first ride will start at 9am, with “high energy, music, and fun” through to the last group at 5pm.

A total of 18 bikes will be used, with an additional bike for the instructor.

Drinks firm John Barritt & Son has donated Crystal Clear water and canned spring water that supports clean water projects worldwide through the global charity CannedWater4Kids to help riders stay hydrated.

Victoria Grill restaurant will provide the sound system along with healthy fruit plates.

Bikes can be sponsored for $300 by companies, while individuals and team participants can donate $25 to ride for 50 minutes.

Riders can also raise funds through pledge sheets — with prizes offered to the individual and team which raises the most sponsorship. The Court House said all ages and fitness levels are welcome to take part.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards help young people aged between 14 and 25 to discover their potential through activities like community service, personal skills development, recreation and adventure, both in Bermuda and overseas.

Traci Burgess, the national director for the Award in Bermuda, thanked Court House for the choosing the group. She said: “Cycling is one of many modes of travel our participants can choose for the adventurous journey component of their programme and physical fitness is one of three individual activities that is required to complete the award, so the theme of spinning as a fundraising event complements several aspects of our programme.

“It costs an average of $400 per person to deliver the award programme in Bermuda.

“Unlike anywhere else in the world, participation is offered at no cost to the hundreds of local young people who take up the award challenge every year.

“Funds from the Court House Spinathon will contribute significantly to ensuring that the award in Bermuda remains available and accessible to all who wish to participate, and will enhance our programme expansion initiatives across the island in order to reach and serve a wider population of our youth.”

To sponsor or take part in the event, call Court House Central on 292-8357 or contact Ms Ince by e-mail at aince@courthouse.bm. Visit www.theaward.bm or call 537-4868 to learn more about the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and how to get involved.