The Pilgrim Bandits was established by a small group of Special Forces veterans in 2007 with the aim of using their unique training and experience to help and inspire injured personnel to live life to the full.
The charity’s mantra is ‘Always a Little Further’ and their primary aim is to help those in need in a unique way. They do this by pushing injured men and women into physically and mentally demanding situations that they would not have dreamed possible, restoring self-confidence and self-belief along the way. These situations include kayaking extraordinary distances, mountain climbing, jumping from an aircraft, running races and trekking across inhospitable terrains.
Our work with people who have suffered life-changing injuries means that we witness first-hand the many benefits that physical activity and sport can have as part of a rehabilitation package. Our own Don’t Quit, Do It campaign champions the use of sport to help people recover from serious injuries and other major traumas in their life.
As part of our ongoing pledge to help support disability sport we are honoured to have been part of the latest Pilgrim Bandits adventure by sponsoring operation R.I.D.E.
R. I. D. E. of their life
Operation R.I.D.E saw injured soldiers and veterans make up three international teams from the UK, Canada and New Zealand, the host nation. Together they cycled over 1,500 miles from the most southern point to the most northern point of the country on specialist recumbent tandem cycles. Each five-man team consisted of two people with injuries or amputations, two able bodied members and a driver.
The specialist tandems were adapted with a hand crank on the front, meaning that one of two amputees or injured members were riding at all times. Over the 26-day adventure the teams covered 1,522 miles in just 19 days. Their only break came when they attended Remembrance Day parades to honour friends and former colleagues.
Working in conjunction with the New Zealand Defence Force, operation R.I.D.E was the first distance event of its kind and after the success of this year’s event it’s hoped that it will become an annual challenge.
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Published: April 2019
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