The award ”Crew of the Year” is given to those who have excelled through the competition Road Worlds for Seniors. This year there were several very good candidates among the 260 Teams participating. In the end, the title was awarded to Harbison from Australia.
Partnership Manager Zac Hulm has backgrounds from both cycling clubs and luxury hotels, so nothing was left to chance.
- It is all about the small things and good routines. We had to prepare both staff and cyclists.
The residents were put into competition mode by watching the Olympics and the Tour de France.
- I told them that Road Worlds for Seniors is a global competition with over 200 care homes from 11 countries, and that we should represent Australia.
Above all expectation
All employees and volunteers who were to contribute to cycling were drilled well in advance and told how both cycling and the Motiview library worked.
- It was important to me that all the details were in place. All from how to turn on the light in the room to how to log km. Everything must work seamlessly, if not it would affect the cyclists, says Zac.
One of the moments of excitement was whether they were able to engage residents who were not affiliated with the nursing home part of Harbison where the bikes were located. - They came and we actually had to have guards to get them off the bike, as well as put out a couch in the hallway for those waiting their turn.
85 cyclists participated
Another point of tension was whether the commitment they experienced in the first week would wane.
- It just got bigger and bigger during the weeks. In total, there were 85 cyclists participating from our two care homes. I am simply blown away by the commitment, the atmosphere and the energy!
Zac tells about the three old cyclists who walked the 200 meters from the dementia unit to the bicycle room.
- If one of them said he was going to ride for 20 minutes, then the other said he was going to ride for 40. They competed against each other, sat and talked about the movies they watched and told stories. That was amazing.
The increased activity provided both physical and mental benefits such as increasing mood among both cyclists and employees.
- RWS has become a game changer for us in so many ways. Everyone got to know the residents better and learned that there is still a lot of spark left. The event has brought us closer together!
Employees at other departments who did not participate directly were also infected by the engagement.
- RWS became a common talking point and everyone wanted to know our results and where we had cycled today. It was a fantastic commitment. When Dorothy (the silver winner) fell to 3rd place on the result list, there were several staff members who offered to work in the weekend to help Dorothy to climb back to 2nd place.
The commitment has also lasted after RWS.
- In fact, we are planning to buy more bikes. We have also made our own cycling club with our own suits, so there will be a lot of cycling in the future.
PHOTOS: VIP ex Governor-General of Australia, Sir Peter Cosgrove, handed out the trophy to silver medalist Dorothy.