People affected with Asperger's Syndrome often have difficulty forming relationships, and the condition tends to limit independence. The condition can also hinder coordination, which means riding a bike can be quite a challenge.
This didn't stop Emre Hills though, and the determined sixteen-year-old enrolled in a cycling course run by Active Swindon last summer. It taught him the rules of the road, how to fix his bike, and showed him rural cycle paths around the town. After just eight lessons, he can now confidently negotiate Swindon's busy roads.
"I just went with the flow and kept practising," said Emre. "I am confident on the road now, and I indicate and look behind me all the time."
Emre's mum, Paula Hills, is very proud of her son. "A lot of the time, people with Asperger's are lacking in confidence. Every day is a challenge and socialising is often the biggest problem, but Emre is very sociable. It is a great confidence-builder for Emre to get on a bike and go where he pleases. He doesn't have to rely on anyone driving him around now."
(Photo: Swindon Advertiser)
CYCLING LESSONS – let us teach you how to benefit from cycling!
After the huge success of the first 'Up 'n' Cycling' project, a second course has been planned. Thanks to funding from CTC, the National Cyclists' Organisation, Active Swindon's Carole Jones can run the next 'Up 'n' Cycling' programme completely free of charge.
Suitable for complete beginners, the 'Up 'n' Cycling' course can help you to gain confidence with cycling, whether it has been a while since you've ridden a bike, or if you're starting completely from scratch.
This programme is one of the first to be taken forward under the 'Cycling Champions Project', overseen in Swindon by Community Cycling Development Officer, Tamina Oliver.
Following on immediately from the first programme, the next course will begin in early May. It will continue to be held at the County Ground Lifestyle Centre from 10-11am each Friday and will be led by a fully qualified cycle trainer. All bikes and helmets will be provided.
Places are filling up fast though so book soon to avoid disappointment.
Anyone interested in taking the 'Up & Cycling' course can contact: Carole Jones Tel: 01793 514401 Email: CJones@swindon.gov.uk