26th May 2011
City athlete Julian Thomas, who is hoping to take part in next year's Games, was on hand to kick-start New Oscott Village's own Olympic Challenge.
Residents, staff and friends were taking part in a six hour non-stop cycling marathon which achieved more than 170 miles towards the 1,000 miles they hope to record by the end of the year in the Charity's own Countdown to the Olympics competition.
Exercise bikes from New Oscott's gym were set up in the Village's main street and Julian, who is training for the 200 metre and 400 x 1 relay, was the first to pedal the event into life, alongside the Village's oldest resident, Bella Shevlin (97), and Activities Facilitator Paul Knight.
More than 30 took part during the day, including a number of residents with varying disabilities and each of them received an Olympic Gold Medal.
Fitness Instructor Rachael Smith rounded the day off by cycling 14 miles in the last half-an-hour.
Julian says he thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the event and meeting many of the residents, particularly Bella who gave him a "big kiss" for attending the marathon.
29 ExtraCare villages and schemes across the Midlands, representing 3,500 residents, will be taking part in the Charity's Olympic Challenge to promote health and fitness in later years. The aim is to achieve 25,000 miles - the circumference of the globe - through a range of activities, before Games start.
The Charity is also holding a competition amongst residents to design an Olympic Torch. The winning entry will then be carried around the country to each scheme and village in an Olympic Relay, finishing on the day of the opening ceremony of the Olympics.
Picture: Julian Thomas with Bella Shevlin