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Positive Points: Senior World Championships

Home / General / Positive Points: Senior World Championships

You may be aware that the UCI (Union Internationale de Cyclistes) World Championships took place in Yorkshire last month; the 22nd – 29thSeptember, to be exact.


The event had a lot of media coverage and consisted of several different races that started at locations around Yorkshire and finished in Harrogate.


Now that the excitement is subsiding it is worth remembering a parallel event: The UCI Senior World Championships. This is an indoor cycling programme that is designed to combat dementia and improve physical and mental well-being:

The UCI Senior World Championships is an annual event that takes place in September, running concurrently to the UCI World Championships. Care homes in many different countries take part and are encouraged to get their residents involved.

At the end of the event male, female and team competitors are crowned as overall winners. A well-deserved honour considering that the event is worldwide!

There is also a ‘support crew’ prize for the team who best supports their senior athletes to get involved and maintain their enthusiasm.

“Through the Road Worlds for Seniors, Motitech want to emphasise that physical activity and sport is not only for the young and strong – it is for everybody and to change the focus on abilities instead of disabilities when it comes to older people living in care homes and people with dementia.”

Unfortunately, many age-related disorders are caused by physical inactivity rather than age itself. Theequipment supplied by Motitech is designed to improve mobility and self-efficacy, to build strength and balance to help protect against falls. It can also aid in controlling weight and increasing appetite, as well as helping to improve sleep, sociability and mental wellbeing.

Athletes who take part pedal on adapted indoor bikes whilst watching the virtual world on a screen; just like many cyclists do on the training platform Zwift. The virtual world can include well known streets, places that bring back childhood memories or anywhere from the worldwide library. This can be especially motivating for people living with dementia as they may be prompted to talk about people they have known and places they have visited in their lives.

When the event started in 2017, 1150 people participated and rode a combined 30,000km. In 2018 that number grew to 2400 care home residents from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, United Kingdom, and Canada. Together they covered 52,000km.

The statistics from 2019 have yet to be released, but it is expected that the number of participants and kilometres will have grown again

The event is backed by British Cycling and Sport England. They have also committed to a further 5 years through the Places to Ride scheme.

A lot of people will know someone who has dementia or who lives in a care home. They will be aware of how vital it is for their friends or family members to engage in exercise to keep their minds active. This is a wonderful way of providing that engagement for care home residents and brings together new technology with a traditional sport in safe, familiar and supportive environments.
If you want to know more of what goes on, have a look at this video:

Let us know what you think about this exercise programme.