HSBC Breeze Jersey, the cycling group for women, celebrated their first birthday on Sunday 19 January.
The Breeze initiative was first established by HSBC UK British Cycling, and offers fun, free bike rides for women of all abilities. Their motto is, “It doesn’t matter if you’re keeping fit, young at heart, wise beyond your years, or baffled by gears – every woman is welcome on a ride.”
Since its launch in Jersey, HSBC Breeze Jersey have welcomed an average of 20 women on their rides per week and many have seen the health benefits that joining the group and cycling regularly have brought them.
One Breeze member has spoken about her experience and how joining the cycle group has benefited her health and wellbeing, saying, “This time last year I would have never imagined that I would own a bike, enjoy exercising and be on my way to getting over some of the barriers that have prevented me from getting out there and moving more for so many years!
Being overweight, whilst I haven’t suddenly become a thin person overnight, here I am ending the year feeling a lot more positive about being able to continue and make changes, that will ultimately be of massive benefit to me.
Jersey Breeze has provided me with the safe, non-judgemental, all-inclusive and fun environment that I needed to help me get over a lot of my hurdles and barriers, and exercise in a way that I’m comfortable with and that I enjoy. It’s also meant I’ve met some truly amazing women, and I’ve made some incredible friends, all with their own stories and on their own journeys.”
Other group members have seen the immediate health benefits through symptoms such as reduced blood pressure and reducing their risk of type two diabetes.
Sue Fox, CEO, HSBC Channel Islands and Isle of Man said, “It’s wonderful to hear how successful the HSBC Breeze rides are. HSBC is committed to supporting physical and mental health and wellbeing in the island. Cycling is a fantastic way of doing this, being out and about in the fresh air and meeting new people. The rides are clearly resonating with women of all ages and abilities, which is fantastic.”
The group celebrated their first birthday on Sunday, with a two-hour ride out starting from the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, followed by tea and cake back at Jersey Sport headquarters.
Catriona McAllister, CEO at Jersey Sport said, “Breeze is all about having fun whilst keeping fit. The social side is a key aspect of the cycling group and lots of women have found a new confidence on their bike. They’ve discovered new places to ride, made new friends and done things they never knew they could. It’s really rewarding to see some of the health benefits felt by some of our group members too.”
Following the success of the HSBC Breeze Jersey cycling programme for women in the island, Move More Jersey HSBC Guided Rides will launch at the end of February – aimed at men, couples and families looking to build up their confidence, fitness and ability on a bike. These rides will be social, fun and for any bike type, and any fitness level.
To keep up-to-date with HSBC Breeze Jersey, follow the group on Facebook at @HSBCBreezeJersey