Island companies donned their cycling shoes and used pedal power to raise funds and promote the importance of wellbeing and good mental health. Nine local firms put together teams of up to 18 people to compete in a wattbike challenge at Cycle 360, cycling as many miles as possible within a one-hour period.
Organised by Cycle 360 – a bikeshop, cafe and fitness club based at the Isle of Man Business Park – in a bid to get as many office workers away from their desk and enjoying physical activity, the event raised £600 for the Lisa Lowe Centre and will be used for its work supporting individuals who struggle mentally with cancer, as well as providing a service to promote positive mental health in the workplace.
Sacha Quine, Co-Director at Cycle 360 and Fitness Club Manager, explained: ‘At Cycle 360, the culture within our fitness club is focused on promoting both physical and mental health. We like to call it ‘self-care’, which is why we decided to launch this mental fitness initiative to coincide with World Wellbeing Week. With physical activity being one of the most accessible means to improving mental health, it seemed a natural place to start.
‘We were blown away by the involvement with some companies even entering more than one team. Each team really gave it their all and it was great to see the reaction to what is hopefully the first of many events designed to encourage increased physical activity in the workplace, all in the name of local charity.’
The winning team was Barclays who managed to cycle 384 miles in the allotted 60 minutes (an average of 21.3 miles per person). Barclays also provided the fastest woman, Christa McKay, who completed 23.31 miles on the bike averaging 215 watts for the 60 minutes on the wattbike.
Runners-up Dandara covered 363.56 miles (an average of 20.2 miles per person) while Manx Telecom was third, completing 355.14 miles with Kevin Edwards the fastest man overall, completing 25.69 miles and averaging 275 watts over the hour.
Sacha continued: ‘A huge congratulations to all involved. Everyone put in a real shift on the wattbike, completing some serious miles and burning a huge amount of calories, while raising money for a charity that desperately relies on funds to help others tackle their mental health problems. A huge well done also to Kevin and Christa for their impressive individual efforts.’
Comments received from participants highlighted the benefits of the event. Manx Telecom’s Chief Financial Officer, Larla Hughes, said: ‘We had enthusiastic support across the business for this challenge – in fact, every function within the company was represented in our 18-strong team. Thank you to the team at Cycle 360 for organising such a great event in aid of a very worthy cause.’
A member of the Barclays team followed up by saying: ‘It’s funny because I had a really bad week last week but was buzzing after that hour of exercise, it goes to show that we really do need to look at using keeping fit to manage our mental wellness!’
Another Zurich employee stated: ‘Thanks to all at Cycle 360 for a really fun and motivated session. Everyone was well looked after and the staff there were all so positive, professional and helpful. We may not have broken any records but we had a fun morning and all for such a great cause!’
Jess Mackie from The Lisa Lowe Centre added her thanks to Cycle 360 for putting on an event in honour of their work: ‘The effort of everyone involved means so much for the charity and a sincere thank you to the companies, Sacha and the rest of the team at Cycle 360 for hosting and motivating each team throughout the challenge.’