Sri Lanka is my motherland, where they view people with disabilities as being very poor, in some cases as having a disease. I want to change the way they perceive humans with disabilities and contribute to eliminating the stigma of disability in Sri Lanka and around the world by overcoming these barriers.
Where there is a will, there’s a way.
What is most special about this trip for me is that in 1996 I was in the same rehabilitation Centre that we will be visiting, and now I am returning.
On September 23, 1996, as a result of the civil war there was a battle in our village. Thinking it too dangerous to escape my village during the night, we stayed until the morning. Once daylight broke, we decided we had to make a run for safety.
I jumped on board my bicycle and peddled fast down the road, listening to a strange noise getting closer and closer behind me. The next thing I knew a bomb had exploded, a piece of the bomb hit me in my lower back – I was in shock! I tried to move but the pain was terrible. I couldn’t move my legs.
The Sri Lankan Civil War gave me a new name: Paraplegic T12.
Doctors told me I would never be able to move – move my head, sit up straight – and that I’ll be bed bound for the rest of my life.
Now I am in the position to show the world that there is no one that has the power to decide what you can and can’t do, it’s your own mind that decides your fate and has the power to shape your destiny.
Physical activity and a healthy lifestyle are important regardless of physical or mental impairments.
Health is always wealth.
You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have good health you will not be able to take your life further and make the most of it.
It's been 21 years since my accident, there were times in the beginning where I wanted to end my life but I'm so glad I didn't! These days 24 hours isn't even enough for me to do the things I want to do, so many goals to achieve, I love waking up and going for it.
I am in wheelchair and despite all its challenges, I still have the determination to never forfeit my dream of living a full life.
Since starting my life in a wheelchair this is the first time that I have been involved in such an amazing initiative and I will give everything I have to achieve my best. Completing this huge adventure with the CyclePower group will create a benchmark for my disability, allow me to continue to achieve my goals and most importantly be a positive influence to those that are in a similar position to me and change the way the world views those with disabilities.
Changing the way the world sees disability
CyclePower was born from the belief that participation in sport and recreation is a basic human right and brings people together.
Over the past seven years, the CyclePower initiative has visited Vietnam, Cambodia, Fiji, Thailand and Bali, supporting projects across the South East Asia region and Victoria.
In that time, over 45 riders with and without disability have cycled over 3,500 kms together, raising awareness about disability and what can be achieved.
It is a unique and excit
ing way to connect with a country and its people, all while raising funds for a great cause.
In February 2018, a group of like-minded people who are passionate about cycling, travel and making a difference, will set out on an unforgettable 10-day cycling adventure through almost 500 km of Sri Lanka’s incredible landscapes.
We believe that actions speak louder than words.
The CyclePower initiative empowers people with disability to show the world that physical activity is for everyone – no matter your ability. CyclePower riders will not only discover their own personal inner strengths, but develop a greater understanding of the unique challenges faced by people of all abilities as they ride, live and play together.
The highlight of the trip will be when the riders spend a day visiting the Rehabilitation Centre in Vavuniya to take part in a cultural exchange and disability sporting activities. This will be a very special day for the group as one of our riders, Judeland, became a paraplegic during the civil war in Sri Lanka and undertook rehabilitation at this centre. Part of the funds raised will be given to the centre during our visit.
Your support will empower both Victorians and Sri Lankans with disability. Help us change the way the world sees disability.
DonationsSee top donations
- Paul James
- Aran A
- Rohan Jesuthasan
- Shaun Loganathan
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more