Israel- Cyprus: together we “Ride On”
“Life without Limits”, is the theme of this year’s celebrations by the Embassy for Israel’s National Day, which we have decided to honour in a different manner, by outreaching to the Cypriot people. We have joined forces with the Cyprus Cycling Federation and the Cyprus Paraplegics Association, to a campaign to raise awareness for para-cycling in Cyprus, launching a new dimension of bilateral cooperation. Under the title “Ride On – Life without Limits”, we invite people with disabilities, and not only these, to be inspired by a life changing story, that can become their own.
Through the work that has been accomplished throughout the years in Israel for the people with disabilities, we have learned that sports can be particularly conducive to motivating disabled people, empowering them, improving their self-esteem, developing their determination and allowing them to create their own personal “success story”. It is not only a matter of social responsibility but also an obligation to ensure accessibility to all.
Improving the daily life of people with disabilities and of their families involves changes in legislation and infrastructure. Technological entrepreneurship can significantly contribute to this cause. The Israeli government actively seeks efforts to spark innovation, encouraging entrepreneurs to create a more accessible environment. An entire tech sector is dedicated to the mission of enabling the disabled and developing creative life-changing technology. One such great Israeli innovation is the “ReWalk Exoskeleton”, which enables people with spinal cord injuries to walk upright again. In all these realms the potential for bilateral cooperation is endless and we are keen to explore new venues.
The Paralympic Committee in Israel and the Israeli Sports Association for the Disabled, operate 19 different types of sports, in which many para-athletes are active. In fact, some of the best worldwide sports clubs for disabled people are spread all over the country, offering also high quality rehabilitation services. These clubs have great achievements in many sports, particularly swimming, as well as cycling, sailing, skiing, diving, surfing and in extreme sports. I strongly believe that this realm of sports can become a new dimension of cooperation between Israeli and Cypriot athletes and will flourish in the years to come.
Nati Gruberg, an Israeli para-cyclist, member of Israel’s National Paralympic Team and a Full Ironman, using his hands only, will share with the Cypriot public his experience of being on a wheel chair, but still being able to “fly”. A living proof, that when there is “a wheel” there is a way. His life’s narrative is not about disability and deficiency but rather of extraordinary ability and achievements. His story aims to empower and inspire the audience to explore the limits of their possibilities and their inner strength, paving their way to experience success.
The series of events for the campaign “Ride On- Life Without Limits” will take place from 8-11 June, starting with a motivational speech open to the public, a workshop on the use of hand-cycles and a social bike ride for both experienced and amateur cyclists.
We invite you to celebrate with us and to “fly” with Nati Gruberg and the Cypriot cyclists. Together we can mark a new horizon in the lives of so many, while bringing both our peoples, the Israelis and the Cypriots, closer.
Will you join the ride?