10th Anniversary of Naba Martin Adongo Abilba III

Young Phil Bertino impresses at 2023 PruRide cycling event
Young Phil(fourth right), his mother(second right)Dad, Mr Bertino(third left),Mr Shaaban(fourth left)and siblings in a group photograph after the event

Young Phil Bertino impresses at 2023 PruRide cycling event

In a remarkable display of skill and determination, Young Phil Bertino, Africa's only autistic cyclist, made a resounding debut at the 2023 PruRide cycling event held in Accra on Sunday.

Competing in the amateur race covering a distance of 17 kilometres, Young Phil demonstrated exceptional prowess, securing a position within the top 20 out of a field boasting over 100 cyclists.

While this marked his inaugural foray into major competition alongside able-bodied cyclists, Young Phil showcased remarkable strength and endurance, completing the one-lap race with an average speed of 25.82 kilometres per hour. This represented a slight dip from his customary speed of 23 kilometres per hour, a factor possibly attributed to his unfamiliarity with the course and the sheer scale of participants for a first-time contender. For his commendable efforts, Young Phil was awarded a well-deserved medal.

The event, organized by Prudential Life Insurance as part of their 175th Anniversary celebrations in collaboration with the Ghana Cycling Federation (GCF), provided a platform for Young Phil to shine.

An elated Young Phil expressed his amazement at participating in the event, expressing eagerness for future competitions both in Ghana and on the global stage. He remarked, "It was a good race and I'm happy. Will be working hard to improve on my position next time."

Mrs. Angel Acquah Bertino, Founder of the Liztino Center for Children with Special Needs and Young Phil's mother, lauded her son's bravery, heralding the event as the inception of even greater accomplishments. She revealed plans for the fifth edition of Autism Awareness Creation through Cycling with Young Phil, a ride spanning from Ghana to Nigeria. This endeavor aims to raise awareness about autism across the continent.

Mrs. Bertino urged the public to dispel misconceptions surrounding autism and involve their children in wholesome activities such as cycling. Mr. Mohammed Shaaban, General Secretary of the GCF, echoed these sentiments, praising Young Phil's achievements and advocating for greater participation of disabled individuals in such challenges.

"As a federation, we are working towards launching an initiative led by Young Phil to bring more disabled persons into the game," he affirmed.

He commended Young Phil's parents and guardians for their unwavering support and encouraged others to engage their children in cycling, underscoring the benefits of such inclusive activities.

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