Olympic medallist rides to support mental health

LANTZVILLE - Residents will have the opportunity to bike with Clara Hughes this Saturday (May 14).

Olympian Clara Hughes chats with CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers during the Clara's Big Ride tour stop at Nanaimo's Beban Park Social Centre in 2014.

Olympian Clara Hughes chats with CBC Radio's Shelagh Rogers during the Clara's Big Ride tour stop at Nanaimo's Beban Park Social Centre in 2014.

Cyclists will have the opportunity this weekend to go on a bike ride with the only Olympian in history to win multiple medals in both the Summer and Winter Games.

Clara Hughes, athlete and mental health advocate, will be leading a casual 10-kilometre bike ride through the streets of Lantzville on Saturday (May 14) at 10 a.m.

The event is organized by Aspengrove School and is a fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

David Hutchison, assistant head of Aspengrove School, said Hughes is an inspirational figure for kids and adults alike and that being able to ride alongside her will be special for anyone who participates.

“I just think she is an incredible role model and I think it is an incredible opportunity,” he said.

In recent years, Hughes has become an advocate for mental health research and ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. She’s openly shared her story of depression and is spokeswoman for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign.

Following the bike ride, Hughes will be a guest speaker at an event hosted by Aspengrove at 6 p.m. at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Hutchison said it’s a honour to have Hughes speak at the school’s yearly fundraising event.

“Clara has overcome a lot in her life to reach those incredible heights, but I think kids and adults can hear that we all have tough times and that it is possible to achieve great things regardless,” Hutchison said. “She can add, obviously, an incredibly inspirational message.”

The bike ride is not a race and participation is by donation, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going directly to CMHA, which helps fund mental health initiatives in the Nanaimo region. There will be an opportunity to meet with Hughes after the ride.

Tickets to the Aspengrove gala are $150. For more information on both events, please visit www.aspengroveschool.ca/gala.

reporter2@nanaimobulletin.com

Pop-up banner image ×