Africa’s sole autistic cyclist, Young Phil Bertino, participated in his first major competition during the 2023 PruRide cycling event held on Sunday in Accra.
Young Phil took part in the amateur race of 17.km and finished among the top 20 cyclists out of over 100 cyclists.
Though it was his first major competition together with abled cyclists, Young Phil showed character, strength and endurance to complete the one lap race with an average speed of 25.82km/hr.
It was, however, a drop from his usual 23km/hr speed but that could be blamed on the fact that he was not familiar with the road and was overwhelmed by the numbers.
He received a medal for his efforts.
The event was held by Prudential Life Insurance as part of activities to mark their 175th anniversary celebrations in collaboration with the Ghana Cycling Federation (GCF).
The excited Young Phil said it was amazing to participate in the event and looked forward to more of such competitions in Ghana and across the globe.
“It was a good race and I’m happy. I’ll be working hard to improve on my position the next time,” he stated.
The Founder of Liztino Centre for Children with Special Needs, Mrs Angel Acquah Bertino,who is also the mother of Young Phil, praised her ward for his courage.
“This is the beginning of many things to happen. We have held cycling events over the years to create awareness on autism in Ghana and set to take it outside the country,” she stated.
She disclosed that the fifth edition of Autism Awareness creation through Cycling with Young Phil would be a ride from Ghana to Nigeria.
She called on the public to disregard the myths associated with autism and engage their children in healthy activities including cycling.
The General Secretary of the GCF, Mr Mohammed Shaaban, also commended the young cyclist for his efforts and encouraged more disabled persons to take up such challenges.
“As a federation, we are working to launch an initiative led by Young Phil to bring more disabled persons into cycling,” he stated.
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Publish date : 2023-09-15 12:02:59