North Queensland’s deadly new cyclists riding for change
Friday 9 February 2018
Indigenous teenagers from North Queensland have been cycling to improve their own health as part of an award winning program 2 Deadly Treadlys. The cycling group based in Cairns is part of an early intervention program, aimed at building resilience in young people who are at risk of developing preventable mental illness and substance disorders.
Logan Horsburugh, one of the nine students in the group reports great improvements in fitness, well-being and confidence.
“I’ve gotten a lot out of this program; friendships, laughs and exercise. I’m feeling a lot healthier.”
Logan’s father, James Horsburugh is proud of his son and the students who all completed the program, commending the initiative for giving his son a place to connect with other kids and an opportunity for the students to all hang out in a safe and fun environment.
“That sense of belonging is so important during the teenage years.”
A sentiment Cairns Hospital Occupational Therapist Lauren Sunner, who was instrumental in leading the program, re-iterates.
“There have been really clear improvements, in stress, anxiety and depression scales. They’ve all got much higher scores in the social determinants for health and they also discuss a sense of feeling included. That social inclusion and acceptance for them is so huge and a lot of them see themselves as heroes within their neighbourhood and are inviting other younger people to also become part of the program.”
The kids went on to complete a 300 km ride from Cairns to Cooktown as part of the ‘Cardiac Challenge’ raising $3,153 for Cairns Hospital.
“I felt very proud completing the challenge and it even made my Mum cry,” Logan said.
6 months from the program’s inception, it went on to win a Queensland Health Excellence Award, something that meant a lot to Lauren and the Cairns Hospital and Health Services team.
“It’s very exciting; it’s a really special privilege, especially for a program that came from very humble beginnings.”