Close to 50 cyclists from the Eagle Riders Club and other professional cycling clubs will tomorrow join Ghana’s autistic cyclist, Phil Bertino for his second autism awareness ride dubbed “Recovery, Capabilities and Potential of Autistic Children.”
The 65km ride from Adenta to Shai Hills under the auspices of the Liztino Center for Children with Special Needs, is aimed at enlightening the public on autism.
Speaking ahead of the campaign, President for Eagle Riders Club, Emmanuel Antwi was upbeat about this year’s campaign, saying it would have the expected impact.
“It is important to join hands to support a worthy cause to educate society on autism and encourage children to engage in cycling as a sport,” he stated.
With Young Phil as an example, he said, autistic children must be given the chance to participate in sports as it would go a long way to improve their condition for the better.
He urged road users to be patient with the cyclists to ensure a successful campaign.
On her part, Founder of the Liztino Center for Children with Special Needs and mother of the young cyclist, Mrs Angel Bertino encouraged parents to expose their autistic children to sports.
“I have done that with Phil and he has recovered very well so autistic children must not be kept indoors but exposed to sports and other activities,” she stated.
“Autism children have the potential of becoming anything like any other child when supported by their parents and society,” she added.
“It is the reason why we began this journey last year to create awareness through cycling with an autistic child and believe that this year would be bigger and better,” she stressed.
According to Mrs Bertino, this year’s campaign would make only a stop at Dodowa after 43km and head towards Shai Hills.
“This time, we want to take advantage of the tourist sites in the area to send the message across to everyone so we will pay visit to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History at Shai Hills,” climb the Mogo Hill, visit the Sayu Hills ,the Ancestors homes of the Manya people as part of endurance exercise for the cyclists and others as well as drum home the need for autistic children to be accepted in society,” she added.
She urged all to come on board to support the campaign which would go a long way to change the perception about autism in Ghana.
BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE