Eight members (six officers, two dispatchers), will be part of an initiative where members of the law enforcement community cycle from Lethbridge to Edmonton to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics.
On June 6, a team of riders from Lethbridge and area will depart en route to the Edmonton Track Meet at Foote Field in Edmonton.
The team will arrive at Foote Field at 12 p.m. on June 7 after cycling for 24 hours. A short program will take place at this time to honour local Special Olympics athletes which will coincide with the opening ceremonies in Edmonton.
Trainer Joel Mills has offered his expertise and facilities to help prepare TPS for the grueling ride where members are now smack dab in the middle of their training plan.
“In my opinion, it’s one of the best programs I’ve made,” said Mills of the 12-week program.
“It’s a lot of weights and a lot of bike riding. I did some research on how to train a long-distance bike ride. It’s a combination of weights, long-distance rides, hill training and some cross fit.”
If you would like to contribute to the cause, you can log onto the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Alberta website and click on donate specifying one particular Taber Police Service members’ name or their whole team.
Taber Community Action and Prevention Society (TCAPS), of which Inspector Graham Abela is a board member, has sponsored the police team along with Mills.
“The workout plan he has given us has been phenomenal. The training regiment has been made to get us ready for this long bike ride and that entails 470 kilometres of riding in a relay. We have a police escort to ensure safety when we go along secondary highways from Lethbridge to Edmonton,” said Abela, adding a southern Alberta cycling store is sponsoring the police service with high-end bikes for the voyage.
“I am proud to say as the police inspector that we have eight police officers (and/or) dispatchers involved in this fundraising cause. It’s a great team-building exercise and beyond that, I’ve really enjoyed hitting the gym with Joel being very inspirational in motivating me. I’m seeing some changes.”
Mills is using the opportunity to celebrate the Special Olympics in his own neck of the woods in Taber with special events in his gym, including trying to set a new Guinness World Record for consecutive burpies.
“We are bringing in all the clients with Taber Special Needs and made a checklist for them to go through each day, focusing mostly on cardio and walking each day. Over the 12 weeks you will continue to see improvements and the biggest goal for me is to not only do the 12 weeks, but hopefully they will continue on after that and make it life-long health,” said Mills, adding there will be a medal ceremony June 20 with a luncheon celebrating the accomplishments of Taber Special Needs.
TCAPS got involved in the initiative by funding the special needs clients’ memberships at the gym for the year.
“Some don’t have health plans or ways of getting to the gym which costs lots of money. It helps promote healthy activity, healthy lifestyles and choices and getting out in the community. It is a fitness regiment that will improve their lives,” said Abela who is a board member with TCAPS.