The ANIAD Italian Bike Tour: “Tour Ruote Blu 2020”
Last update: 29/10/2020
This project consisted of a six-stage mini-tour for 14 non-professional cyclists with Type 1 Diabetes from different regions in Italy, starting from Tivoli on September 6 and ending at Castelnuovo del Garda on September 11, with a final stage running along lake Garda. The total distance exceeded 700 Km with over 2000-metre drops along the route. ANIAD diabetologists, Gerado Corigliano and Felice Strollo assisted the athletes by providing expert advice, both during the tour and during the evening debriefing sessions.
Our main goal was to inform the general population about diabetes and encourage everyone to use exercise and sports as a powerful preventative and therapeutic tool for diabetes and other chronic disease management. A parallel goal was to explain the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle, as reported by WHO, with respect to non-communicable diseases.
ANIAD received great support from the Italian Post Office System, in terms of both funding and message amplification at each arrival in different towns, as well as before and after each stop. This is a testament to new ways of dealing with public workplaces by taking the opportunity to motivate and empower employees to change their lifestyle.
This was also a fruitful example of direct and smooth interaction between the Italian public, private, and non-governmental organisations to promote specific interventions in favour of the general population through the enthusiastic involvement of people used to see their own disease as an opportunity for better long-term health outcomes and willing to spread a positive message to apparently healthy citizens.
This was especially apparent at the last stage in Gardaland when local and regional institutions as well as different voluntary associations joined ANIAD athletes to promote healthy messages by involving the public of all ages visiting the park in an exciting exchange of ideas and experiences. The many journalists who were present also published a series of interesting articles in the regional and national newspapers in addition to what appeared on Facebook during the entire week and after.
We are now in the process of collecting as much data as possible on glucose levels and diet-insulin adaptations, to hopefully form the basis of a publication, thereby contributing to better knowledge and motivation among athletes living with diabetes all over Europe.