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PARE0021 Sick, but active - we can do everything you can do
  1. L. Anders1
  1. 1Norwegian Rheumatism Association, Norwegian Rheumatism Association, Oslo, Norway


Background It is time to get of the sofa! We are giving people with rheumatism an alternative way to train. For many people it is not enough just to walk and stay regularly fit. There are many who have rheumatism, but still think they can do just as others do. And we believe they can too. So we are helping them train for the biggest mountain bike race in Norway, Birkebeineren. The project is called !Sykt Aktiv”.

Objectives There are 3 objectives.

We want to show others that we can do what they can do. Rheumatism does not automatically mean that we have to stop doing all the fun stuff.

And we need to show ourselves that we can do this. Even if you have pain in your muscles and joints, we will push extra hard and we shall succeed!

Rebranding the Norwegian Rheumatism Association as a organization that takes challenges straight on and say. WE CAN DO IT!

Methods Through advertisements and articles we have gathered a group of 28 people who have signed up for the project. Some were members already, some where not. They range from 22 and in fit shape to 50 and unfit.

We will have 4 meetings before the race in august. The participants will meet a number of people who will talk to them about empowerment, training, exercise, cycling and nutrition. They will be given individual training schedules which will be renewed every 8 weeks. We are cooperating with several gyms, physiotherapists and others.

Results In 2012 we only had two people cycling this race in our name. This year we have 28 who want to do so. We already have gotten a lot of attention on this project and others want to do other, similar activities. Our goal is that we get a lot of small groups around in the country that train a bit harder than the rest of us. This is not meant for everybody, but an alternative to those who feel they need the extra push. They might not need to participate in a bike race, but maybe run a local race, or climb a mountaintop. The sky is the limit, and we want you to try and reach for it.

Conclusions We believe this is the right way to go to empower younger people in the organization and reach out to new potential members who want something different. They want to train, but know they have to respect their body. Here they can do so with others who understand their problems.

Disclosure of Interest None Declared

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