Team SD Worx announced that they will donate their prize money from Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition, and auction five jerseys and a team-issued Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 to raise money for the TRAuma and DEmentia, a crowdfunding project through the Limburg University Fund/SWOL and in collaboration with Maastricht University and Mondriaan Zorggroep, all based in Limburg.
"Resilience is one of the most important qualities you need to be able to succeed as a cyclist. You have to overcome setbacks, get up again after falling, never let yourself be crushed mentally, let injuries heal and be able to put disappointments aside," read a statement from SD WOrx.
"It's a cliché, but it's a truth you should never forget: you lose more in top sport than you win. The involvement of crashes are sometimes traumatic experiences. And yet we always have the will to put all this aside in order to eventually be able to win together with the team.
"For this reason, the TRAuma and DEmentia (TRADE) project of senior psychiatrist and researcher Sjacko Sobczak, who works at Mondriaan and Maastricht University, appeals to us as Team SD Worx cycling team and we want to commit ourselves to this during the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday."
Sobczak's research shows that traumatic experiences can cause serious psychiatric problems, and can double the risk of dementia. The problem is also that when people develop dementia, the experiences of the traumatic experience reappear in all vehemence, according to the SD Worx statement.
“But not everyone who goes through a traumatic experience develops problems. This has to do with resilience, among other things. Some of this resilience may already be in your DNA, but other factors also play a role, such as your physical condition and whether you live healthy. Exercise, healthy eating and limiting the use of stimulants not only keep you physically but also mentally fit," Sobczak said.
"Fortunately, you can also invest in resilience. You can support your body during this time so that your stress system does not leave too many disastrous consequences. By consciously seeking relaxation or performing light exercise outside, you can let the stress system rest for a while.
"Exercise ensures that muscle tissue increases, optimizes oxygen transport and decreases fat tissue. Illnesses as a result of stress (ie, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases) have less chance. Sports also promotes a good night's sleep, which is essential for recovery and maintenance of your resilience.
"The importance of sport is also evident in this time of corona. Many people have experienced stress in the past year. In many people, the resilience is reduced after such a long time of uncertainties. We have to start believing again that we have resilience and that we can do something about it. We cannot avoid that stress comes our way in life. We need that, too. In that regard, dealing with stress is fitness. Sports is a first investment. The riders of Team SD Worx are an example for a lot people in this regard. We cannot change the entire crisis - but we can change how we deal with it! ”
At the 2019 edition of Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition, the team, then called Boels Dolmans, donated their prize money and auctioned a team-issued bike to raise money for breast cancer research through Pink Ribbon.
This year, SD Worx will donate their prize money of the Amstel Gold Race Ladies Edition to the University Fund Limburg/SWOL for the TRADE project. In addition, they will donate a Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 (2020 edition) equipped with SRAM Red eTAP, which has a retail value approximately €11,000, to an auction. There are also five SD Worx cycling jerseys signed by all riders available on the Maastricht University crowdfunding website from Friday, April 16 to Sunday, April 25, closing at the Ardennes Classics finale Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
Those interested can donate funds to the TRADE project through the Team SD Worx campaign page. More information about the crowdfunding and promotion of Team SD Worx can be found here.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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