British Cycling and Sport England have agreed a five-year partnership with Norwegian start-up Motitech designed to deliver opportunities for older people to remain active through cycling using a combination of immersive videos and specially-adapted physical equipment.
Motitech was founded in 2013 by Jon Ingar Kjenes as a result of a successful project by the Agency for Nursing Homes in Bergen, with the hope of improving the lives of older people and people with dementia through physical activity.
The new partnership covers Road Worlds for Seniors, Motitech’s global activity programme for cycling within care homes and care centres, which will run throughout September alongside the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, which is being held in Yorkshire from 22nd-29th September.
Motitech will set the focus on physical activity for older people using its concept, Motiview, in which older people cycle through a choice of 1,700 locations on stationary bikes via a video projection that plays whilst the person pedals.
The combination of exercise and visual stimulation increases activity levels in older people, and gives them the opportunity to revisit familiar places from their childhoods and other important points in their lives.
This element of Motiview is said to be especially important for those who live with dementia, as it provokes fond memories of familiar locations, such as their home town, or favourite holiday location, sparking conversations that bring the memories back to life. Everyone who participates will be rewarded for their efforts, with additional awards going to those who have cycled the furthest, and the care teams that have provided the best support. British Cycling will also be supporting the marketing and communications for the Road Worlds for Seniors.
Moving forward, the five-year partnership will see British Cycling and Sport England support the project through their Places to Ride capital grants programme, which is designed to deliver a lasting legacy from the 2019 Road World Championships by funding the development of multi-use facilities as well as facility improvement and equipment. The programme will engage with a broad spectrum of cyclists - encouraging people who have never cycled before to get on their bikes.
Places to Ride has been made possible through a new £15m commitment from the UK Government, and will be delivered over the next three years through a unique partnership between British Cycling, Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). This will allow Motitech to provide equipment to an increased number of care homes.
Jan Inge Ebbesvik, President of Road Worlds for Seniors at Motitech, said: “The support means that we can get even more people and care homes involved in Road Worlds for Seniors across the world, and create that feeling of friendly competition and community.
“We want to encourage older people to compete, have fun and get active at the same time. Through the combination of exercise, support from friends, families, and carers, as well as the support provided by British Cycling and Sport England, this year’s event is set to establish the unique application of technology to benefit older people as an initiative in parallel to existing cycling competitions, and a special fixture of the British sporting calendar.”
Julie Harrington, British Cycling CEO, added: “It is vital that everyone has opportunities to remain physically active throughout their life, and the Motiview concept brings people together, forming new communities that may have never existed. We want people to get physically active and feel motivated to take part and cannot wait to see where, around the world, Motiview takes them.”