01 Feb 2017
BANKRUPT, divorced and depressed is how Scott Elliot, aged 49, from Doncaster described himself before he rediscovered a love of cycling thanks to a scheme run by the towns Leisure Trust.
Now, with a real focus, and a goal to take part in a cycle race next year, Scott shares his experience of turning his life around as a result of the sessions run by Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust’s (DCLT) cycling guru Chris Green.
“The economic crisis had a huge impact on my business, I was a self-employed civil engineer, but my business folded, my marriage broke up and I found myself suffering from depression.
“It’s hard to imagine so quickly things can spiral out of control. One minute you are running a business and everything is going well and the next you have nothing and you are struggling to function.
“Depression is horrible and when you are in its grips you can feel like there is no hope. I was extremely low when I it was suggested that I attend one of Chris’s cycling sessions for hard to reach groups and I really didn’t know what to expect.
“I’d enjoyed cycling as a child and can remember snapping my first bike half as a youngster trying to go over a jump!
“My first proper bike was a Raleigh Arena and I did some miles on that as a teenager. Unfortunately my cycling was cut short as I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), which is a painful form of arthritis and I struggled to get about and couldn’t exercise so I gave up cycling.
“Thankfully over the years medication has improved hugely and AS is something that can ease once you have passed your 30s.
“The first time I went out with Chris and the group was the end of January this year and I remember having to push the bike up the hill. Now I am cycling four or five times a week. I love getting out on the bike, meeting new people and having new experiences.
“These groups have given me a new focus and really reignited my love of cycling. I can’t thank Chris and the team enough, I really don’t know where I’d be without them.”
Scott, from Tickhill, has also started using the DCLT gyms and taking part in the spinning classes. He also takes his son and daughter (aged 11 and 12) out cycling at weekends thanks to Doncaster’s bike library which allows people to borrow bikes.
“Since that first session earlier in the year I’ve built up my strength, stamina and skill and recently cycled across the peaks. My goal for next year is to take part in a cycle race, I really want to cycle with a number on my back to show how far I have come,” added Scott.
Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust run a number of cycling sessions, including weekly night rides, for local people to take part in.
Chris Green, who runs the sessions said: “It has been fantastic to see the journey Scott has been on and to see how much of a difference these sessions have made to his life. He is now full of life and extremely positive about the future. He is challenging himself with his cycling and really getting a lot out of being outdoors and having the time that cycling gives you to think and take in the world around you.
“We run lots of different sessions every week with our Choose Fitness gym members, hard to reach groups and members of the local community. Cycling is a great activity and we are looking forward to working with even more people in the coming weeks and months.”
For further information about Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust visit www.dclt.co.ukNews Archive
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