How Canadians are celebrating Clara’s Big Ride

When Clara rolls into town, these Canadian cities will be prepared with a warm welcome. Here’s how they’re celebrating

How Canadians are celebrating Clara's Big Ride

Source: Best Health magazine, May 2014

Our readers will know that Olympian and Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes has taken on a huge physical feat (we’re proud to be national magazine partner for Clara’s Big Ride). On March 14, she started her 110-day cycling tour through every province and territory. She’s cycling a total of 12,000 kilometres! Why? To erase the stigma of mental illness. And it’s a fact that getting outside and being active is good for mental health; activity is even becoming part of the treatment plan for depression and anxiety. A review published in November 2013 in Physiotherapy Theory and Practice confirmed that exercise helps to treat depression when used in combination with medication. So it’s fitting that exercise is playing such a huge role in Clara’s quest. We spoke with two ‘Community Champions’ to see what they are planning for when she rolls into town.


Event: ‘Let’s Keep Talking for Clara’s Big Ride”a unique speakers’ event designed to educate, engage and entertain
When: April 15; 6’8 p.m.
Where: Spatz Theatre, Citadel High, 1855 Trollope St.

‘We’re super-excited because, of course, we’re all fans of Clara. Our goal at the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is to make a difference by supporting mental health initiatives, and we also want to raise awareness. Both of these things speak so clearly to what Clara’s goals are as well. We share very similar missions, and we’re just so thrilled to be associated with her. She’s certainly engaged the nation and we’re delighted to be a part of that.’Starr Dobson, Halifax Community Champion, and president and chief executive officer of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia


Event: Clara’s welcome
When: May 30; 4:15 p.m.
Where: Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, 169 Canada Olympic Rd. S.W.

‘Clara’s Big Ride is an opportunity to extend the conversation in a very normal way.
I think a lot of people can relate to Clara and her experience. The Ride allows her to meet with different members of the public at the events that are happening across the country and to really make the experience personal. I don’t think we’re going to eliminate the stigma by just talking about stigma. I think we’ll deal with it by talking about the problems and making them real for people’and solvable.’Robbie Babins-Wagner, Calgary Community Champion, registered social worker and chief executive officer at the Calgary Counselling Centre

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!