Tandem Project Update
New Partnership – Royal Society for the Blind
We are happy to announce a partnership with the Royal Society for the Blind in SA. The RSB are committed to improving the everyday lives of people with vision impairment, recognising that sporting pursuits are an essential component of well-rounded community participation. For those in the RSB community who are unfamiliar with the Tandem Project, we are a volunteer organisation that trains vision impaired cyclists from beginner level, right through to elite participation in paracycling.
New Member Profile – Justin Jones
Justin has been riding with the project for approximately three months now, which means he has had to brave winter conditions for the most part. Here is what he has to say about his involvement in the project so far.
I believe the Tandem Project in SA has the ability to change lives for those with a vision impairment. For myself, I have finally found an outlet that I can build my skills and hopefully reach my goal of becoming a Paralympian whilst enjoying the training and development of cycling in general.
The team consists of well-rounded athletes who are more than willing to give up their own time to train those who are dedicated to making their dreams come true. Since joining, I have gradually seen my strengths enhanced by the guidance of key members of the club. A major reason I think the club is successful is that it is like a little family and we all look out for each other whilst getting the job done. Everyone is extremely willing to make you better as a cyclist whilst not putting you down as a person unlike some other sports I have been involved in. This team treats you like an able-body person rather than a disabled person defined by a set of limitations.
For me it has greatly helped me in my personal life as well as my professional life at a time where I’ve felt life start to get on top of me. This team of people with different backgrounds allows me to vent and have a sense of belonging. I’ve felt like I have finally found a group of people whom I can trust, and spend time with both on and off the road.
Since starting cycling, I have managed to drop approximately 30kg after getting some great lifestyle changing ideas from a few of the members and now I’m feeling as fit as I have ever felt. I’m greatly appreciative of the effort that everyone puts in and how they all band together to support each other. I’m looking forward to what my future brings with those people around me to push me when I need encouragement and I’m looking forward to seeing my development over the next few years.
Base Camp Renovations and Equipment Upgrade
Four years ago we started with three tandems that were well past their use-by date. Those tandems were stripped and rebuilt and form the work horses of the program, being ideal for teaching new comers the art of riding. New tandems were purchased both for the program and by some individuals within the program, and more recently, we have added another rebuilt tandem to the collection. This brings our collection of tandems to 12. It is with deep appreciation that I thank Captain Mike Hoile and Chief Mechanic Tony Kemp for their tireless efforts in keeping these machines on the road, and to all our wonderful volunteers, a big thanks for the numerous times we have done base camp clean ups.