Spirit of Sport Award
Riders for Health is the official charity and Associate Member of the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and MotoGP and has just been nominated for the Annual Spirit of Sport Award. This Award was started to commend the work of humanitarian Sport Accord members and recognise their dedication to helping others through the use of sport as a tool for positive change in the world.
Riders for Health had its birth in the Grand Prix racing paddock in the 1980s and is supported by motorcyclists from all round the world. It operates in Africa using mainly motorcycles, as well as some ambulances and other four wheeled vehicles, to help local health workers deliver health care to isolated villages.
Extending a lifeline
Due to Riders for Health's work an outreach health worker can now reach five times more people than on foot or by bicycle. This means that over 30,000 extra people across Africa receive health care services each week - that is 1.5 million each year - thanks to these life saving motorcycles.
The drive to succeedThe other really positive aspect of this charity's work is that it focuses on maintenance and training and employs local technicians to carry out monthly maintenance on all the vehicles - thereby ensuring that the bikes are kept in optimum working condition and rarely break down. This has the happy side effect of creating employment in the local community as well which is another bonus. This is really why the founders of the charity, Randy Mamola (13 times Grand Prix winner), Andrea and Barry Coleman took it on as, when they went to see the work of health bikes in Africa, they saw how many bikes were off the road due to having broken down through lack of maintenance. Their determination to tackle this problem led to the founding of the charity in 1991 which now delivers such fantastic work throughout Africa and saves so many lives.
This charity has the full support of the FIM and the motorcycle racing community and they hold fundraisers before MotoGP races nationally giving fans the chance to see behind the scenes of the sport. They also raise money by providing helmet and leather storage at races and events and receive donations from motorcyclist all around the world.
The FIM president Vito Ippolito says: "The FIM is proud to have Riders for Health as an Associate Member and that we have such a strong and fruitful collaboration. On behalf of the FIM and all the motorcycle community I warmly congratulate Riders for Health for this nomination and for putting motorcycling on the road to help save lives"
Motorcycles help in the heart of AfricaRiders for Health aim to reach 25million people by 2015 and by putting the motorbike at the heart of Africa they are saving a lot of lives - we wish them the best of luck with their very deserving nomination for the Spirit of Sport Award!