From squash star to cycling hero
When Satwant Singh’s squash career was ended cruelly by a knee injury, he never imaged he would go on to become more physically active.
But, less than a decade later, the 68-year-old now cycles more than 3,000 miles every year and regularly completes long-distance rides for charity – not bad for someone old enough to get the winter fuel payment.
“I come from a sporting family and I represented Zambia in squash, so I’ve always been someone who likes to keep fit”, says Satwant, who was born in Tanzania and now lives in Bradford.
“When I had the injury, I took to cycling as a way of staying in shape. I soon fell in love with it, and my bike is now my main form of transport and exercise.”
Satwant was proving his fitness in no time – his first major ride being no fewer than 130 miles in length.
“I went from Leeds to Liverpool along the canal, which was a challenge”, says Satwant. “The feeling of satisfaction when I finished was incredible and I knew that it was something I wanted to do again.”
“In 2013, I decided to do the 100-mile RideLondon challenge to raise money for the Stroke Association, which was a cause close to my heart.”
“Both my parents suffered from strokes and they changed our family’s world completely. Cycling was a fitting way to pay tribute to them, as they had been so encouraging of me when it came to sport.”
Satwant raised an incredible £1,024 for the charity. In fact, he’s already donated almost £2,000 to various causes thanks to his many sponsored bike rides.
“Cycling has really opened a lot of doors. It’s allowed me to raise a lot of money for deserving organisations, but I have seen more places and met new people, too.”
“I now commute by bike and often do my shopping on it as well, so it has also become useful for me every single day.”
Satwant, who works as a teaching support technician at Bradford University, now champions cycling to people in his community.
“I try to get the local Sikh community motivated to cycle like myself and I also promote it through my workplace, where I have led coast-to-coast rides with students”, says Satwant.
“It’s fantastic to be featured in the Rediscover That Cycling Feeling campaign and I hope it will inspire others to remind themselves of the fun they once had on their bikes.”
“I am proof that you can rediscover cycling at any time and reap the benefits, whether you are interested in exercise or just want a quick, easy way to get from A to B.”