Optics Cycling for Sight launches for 2015

Charity initiative goes through re-brand and encourages the profession to take to their bikes to collectively cycle the circumference of the world

14 Apr 2015 by Emily McCormick

An annual fundraising initiative which calls on the profession to take to their bikes for Optometry Giving Sight and collectively cycle 25,000 miles has been launched.

Previously known as Optoms Cycling for Sight after being established by a group of University of Bradford undergraduates in 2011, the initiative has undergone a rebrand for 2015 and will now be called Optics Cycling for Sight.

Practitioners who wish to take part in this year’s challenge are encouraged to cycle as little or as much as they wish between now and World Sight Day on 8 October.

In 2014 the profession covered over 9,000 miles and raised £24,000 for the charity, the equivalent to helping screen and provide spectacles to over 8,000 people who have no access to eye care services. The goal this year is to collectively cycle 25,000 miles and raise £1 for each mile cycled.

Dispensing optician, Tim Bowden, of Bowden and Lowe Opticians in Kent, has taken part in the initiative for a number of years and in 2014 cycled 326 miles and raised more than £2,000.

Speaking about his challenges for the cause, Mr Bowden commented: “It has been good for my health and fitness levels, whilst at the same time helping to drive awareness among patients and friends of the misfortune of others who do not have access to the essential eye care that we take for granted.”

Introduced last year, a group cycle challenge organised by Perspective Eyecare, which offered CET points en-route, will return this year. The event will take place from Bridlington to Scarborough on August 30, with different distance options available. More details are expected to be released shortly.

Optometry Giving Sight regional manager for Europe, Donna Power, said: “We hope even more people from the profession will get involved this year, including their friends and family. It’s such a great way to get fit whilst making a direct impact to others lives. What’s great is that there’s no restriction on mileage, participants can do whatever they are comfortable with, and wherever they want.”

To register and take part, visit www.oc4s.co.uk

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