Autistic cyclist dazzles at Homowo Cycling Challenge
Autistic cyclist, Young Phil Bertino was the toast of fans at this year’s Homowo Cycling Challenge at Teshie recently when he joined over 70 professional cyclists for the event.
Young Phil, who was the guest rider, put up a splendid performance to finish his 76km race in a time of 2:45:33secs with an average speed of 27.56km/h, and received massive cheers for his effort.
The cycling sensation was presented with a special trophy, medal and jersey for his tremendous achievement on the day.
Speaking after the event, Founder of the Liztino Centre for Children with Special Needs and mother of Young Phil, Mrs Angel Bertino expressed appreciation to organisers for providing the platform for her ward to exhibit his talent.
Mrs Bertino, who also sponsored the event, called for the need to expose children with autism to physical activities such as cycling.
“There are many of such children like Phil in our communities and are rejected and called names because of their attributes. But just like Phil managed to get better and gradually becoming one of the best cyclists in the country, every other kid could also get well and live a normal life,” she stated.
She added that, the public must accept such children and support them to grow and become responsible to society.
Organiser of the Challenge, Nathaniel Sowah Agoe, also commended Phil and all cyclists for showing up for 17th edition of the event.
The main 90km criteria race was however won by Ghana’s top cyclist, Frank Akuffo with Frank Quaye and Prince Kudufia settling for the second and third positions respectively.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE