The Special Olympics Isle of Man Cycling Team took to the saddle at Tameside Cycle Track, with travel assistance from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Four local athletes competed in The Special Olympics Great Britain National Cycling Championships, accompanied by two coaches, a mechanic and two support vehicles. Although it wasn’t the team’s first invite to the championships, the support of the Steam Packet Company allowed them to bring a bigger and better-equipped team than ever before.
Founded in 1985, Special Olympics Isle of Man facilitates a variety of individual and team sports and provides meaningful training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. With more than 20 highly trained voluntary coaches and assistant coaches helping to train and mentor the athletes across 13 different sports, these dedicated individuals give many hours of their own time each week to help the island’s Special Olympics community achieve incredible things.
At the competition, Rebecca Maller competed in the 500m and 3km Road Race, where she secured two silver medals up against athletes from Special Olympics North West Region and Yorkshire and Humberside.
Laura Oram competed in the 500m Time Trial and the 1km Time Trial, achieving silver and gold medals against athletes from Special Olympics Yorkshire and Humberside.
Harvey Shimmin secured a gold medal in the 10km Time Trial and fourth position in the 10km Road Race, competing against athletes from the Special Olympic regions of North West, South East and Scotland West.
Finally, Christopher Hattersley, who competed in the 10km Time Trial and 15km Road Race, secured a silver and gold medal while competing against athletes from Special Olympics regions, North West, South East, Scotland West and Yorkshire and Humberside.
Adrian Mooney, Special Olympics Isle of Man Cycling Coach, said: ‘The team outdid themselves at the Cycling Championships and should be so proud of their personal achievements. They’ve put in hours of hard work over the past few months at Centre 21 and at the NSC, working on perfecting their technique, speed and fitness, and it certainly showed on the track.
‘Travelling off-island to compete is a really important part of what we do as it provides opportunities for our athletes to meet new friends, grow in confidence, keep healthy and learn new experiences.
‘We’re so grateful to the Steam Packet Company for offering its invaluable support as we travelled off and on the island. Being able to take a team of four plus the coaches, mechanic and two support cars made a huge difference and really helped with team morale. On behalf of Special Olympics Isle of Man, thank you!’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘Congratulations to Rebecca, Laura, Harvey and Christopher who all performed exceptionally well, and to the coaches and mentors for supporting them along the way. We’re pleased to support this hard-working charity and wish the athletes all the best for the future.’