Sports and health | Arctic Race provides a space for athletes with substance abuse challenges and prisoners: – A great tool for creating positive experiences

Sports and health |  Arctic Race provides a space for athletes with substance abuse challenges and prisoners: – A great tool for creating positive experiences

When the Norwegian Arctic Race was held in August, Idretten Skaper Sjanser had a very special cycling team.

Through a collaboration between Cycling and the nonprofit organization, 22 athletes cycled all four stages of the race in front of the main square. With support staff and coaches, the retinue numbered 43 people. Among the athletes, it was people with drug challenges and the inmates of Bjørgvin prison who most impressively completed the race. They started in the North Cape and rode parts of the distance to Tromsø before the race, traveling a total of 950 kilometers before crossing the finish line in Harstad. Now, the Arctic Race of Norway and Adreten Skaber Sjanser have decided to continue the collaboration.

Idretten Skaper Sjanser organizes low-threshold activities for people with substance abuse challenges, and becomes the third social partner in Arctic Race of Norway after Bufetat and NAV.

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An important job for many people

– We are very proud to partner with Idretten Skaper Sjanser, which is doing such important work for so many people in a difficult situation. The importance of unity and team spirit is fundamental to the sport and a great tool for creating positive experiences for people with substance abuse and other challenges in life, says General Manager Knut Erik Dibdahl at the Arctic Race in Norway.

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Arctic racing ambassador Thor Hochofed rotated parts of a single stage with the athletes from Idretten Skaper Sjanser. He was impressed by effort and skill.

– It was great to see how the athletes who, to put it mildly, faced great challenges in life, completed stage after stage in this year’s race. Riding with them has been fun, says Hushovd, and it would be nice to bring them back next year.

Idretten Skaper Sjanser is owned by the Norwegian Cycling Federation, the Norwegian Ski Federation and the Norwegian Equestrian Federation and collaborates with several sports associations across the country. The association works to ensure that people who have dropped out of society have the opportunity to use their resources, for the benefit of themselves and society as a whole.

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Creates unity and a sense of mastery

Sport creates unity, a sense of mastery, a sense of responsibility towards the team, and good physical and mental health. It was great to be part of the popular festival associated with the Norwegian Arctic Race this year and we are very excited to expand the cooperation and become a social partner, says Morten Nyborg, General Manager of Idretten Skaper Sjanser.

Nyborg is pleased with the positive interest that participation in the Norwegian Arctic Race has given participants.

The Arctic Race is a great opportunity to make us visible. We are included, and athletes who meet their challenges are considered full participants and members of the sports family, says Nyborg.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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