Autistic cyclist donates to OTC, Aburi Girls
The 2023 edition of Autism Awareness Creation through Cycling with Young Phil Bertino, Africa’s sole autistic cyclist came off at Nsawam in the Eastern Region on Saturday.
The event which climaxed a month-long autism awareness creation spearheaded by the Liztino Centre for Children with Special Needs, with support from GOIL, GT Bank and Ayalolo saw the Young Phil together with over 50 professional cyclists engage in a 45km ride from Accra(Adenta) to Nsawam to raise awareness on autism.
The team made a stop at Aburi Girls where branded exercise books where presented to the students before heading to the Orthopedic Training Center(OTC) at Nsawam where another donation was held, following a grand durbar by organisers.
At the centre, Young Phil also interacted with the children with special needs in a bid to give hope and support while encouraging them to engage in sports and other activities.
The 16-year-old autistic cyclist had for the past four years used the sport to drum home the need for society to accept and support autism children to be independent and realise their full potentials.
The first edition of the event was held four years ago at with a ride to the Aburi Botanical Gardens, while the second and third editions came off at Shai Hills and Nyanyano in the Central Region respectively while Saturday’s event marked the fourth edition.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) for the Liztino Centre, Mrs Angel AcquahBertino, who is also Young Phil’s mother expressed appreciation to patrons and sponsors for their encouragement over the years.
“It has been a tough journey but we are committed to ensure that we use cycling to raise awareness on autism and ensure that society accepted children with special needs,” she stated.
Her ward, she said, was an example of an autistic child who defied all odds to become an example to other kids in Ghana and the world at large.
She expressed appreciation to sponsors for coming on board and urged other corporate entities to come on board as they looked forward to a bigger event next year.
“I want to thank GT Bank for supporting the donation as over 1000 books and pens were distributed to support the centre as well as students at Aburi Girls,” she stressed.
The Head, Brands and Creatives at GT Bank GodfredAdjabeng said they were pleased to be part of the event and commended organisers for the initiative.
“We associate with autism and had been engaged in activities to raise awareness; so we are happy to be part of this worthy course and look forward to partnering for bigger events subsequently,” he stated.
The Public Relations Officer for the OTC, Eleazer Kissi Asante and the School Councillor at Aburi Girls Betty Nyakpenu respectively, thanked Team Young Phil for the support.
BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE