Cycling as a catalyst in overcoming depression
After the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust supported him with his depression, Jay Reza, Finance Officer at the Trust, took part in his fourth Ride London on Sunday – raising important funds for the club’s charity.
Battling torrential rain and strong winds, Jay took part in the 100-mile ride alongside 11 other riders representing the Community Sports Trust.
RideLondon, now in its sixth year, is aimed at encouraging more healthy and active travel. Setting out from the Olympic Park, the cyclists head to west London and experience challenging, leg testing climbs through parts of Surrey, before finishing on the Mall in central London.
And for Jay, the event brought back bittersweet memories of his first Ride London experience in 2014; with cycling becoming the catalyst in overcoming his depression.
Discussing his experience of the illness, he said: “Depression was nothing to do with my job, it was something that just happened at the time. I didn’t really understand what was going on. It was just a sinking feeling where I felt trapped and as if I was going in a downward spiral.”
The 22-year-old, who started at the Trust as an apprentice and is now a qualified AAT Accountant, took part in Ride London for the fourth time, which he claims triggered a passion for the sport and helped him with his illness.
“After my first year of taking part in Ride London, I fell in love with cycling and it’s become a big hobby of mine ever since,” said Jay. “Our CEO, Lee Doyle, helped ignite my passion for cycling and I want to thank him for that. The event is brilliant, you get to recreate the Olympic route from 2012 and the atmosphere is amazing. There’s thousands of people out of their houses supporting and cheering you on.”
Jay, along with 11 other riders raised more than £9,000 for the Trust’s vital community projects.
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and who also took part in the race, said: “The RideLondon festival is a fantastic event that brings together staff from the Trust, football club and local community. The riding conditions were very challenging but that only served to enhance the spirit of togetherness amongst all of the riders. We look forward to entering again next year and would encourage potential riders to join us.”
Commenting on Jay’s journey with the Trust, Lee said: “Jay is a shining example of how we can support young people with potential to develop and work towards their life goals. Since joining the Trust, Jay has become a valued member of our team; his passion for life, creativity and humour add to the energy within the Trust and, in turn, we have provided support when needed.
“My congratulations go out to the organisers, volunteers and participants in the RideLondon Festival. The weather forecast looked daunting, but in the end the rain and wind added to the challenge. I would like to thank our team of riders and encourage you to join us at the event next year – come and wear the special Bees cycling shirt with pride!”