Paralympian Steve Bate unveils charity bicycle for visually impaired people in Worthing
To mark the unveiling of Sight Support Worthing’s new Triobike, a very special guest was invited to cut the ribbon in front of a gathered crowd.
Steve Bate MBE, double gold medal winning Team GB paralympian, visited the seafront to support the charity and unveil the bike.
As a visually impaired cyclist, Steve was excited to support the Triobike. It is an electric powered bicycle with a bench style seat on the front, to be used as a resource for the vision impaired residents of Worthing to be able to enjoy the thrill of a cycle along the seafront again.
A gathering of charity supporters, including charity president Bob Smytherman and Worthing’s mayor Hazel Thorpe, met on Worthing promenade last Friday to officially launch the bike.
Funding for the project was made possible thanks to a legacy donation from Rosemary Rickard, who has been described by people who knew her as the life and soul of the party, always smiling and lots of fun.
Town crier Bob Smytherman is the charity’s president. He said: “It is just wonderful, this is an amazing charity. To put this legacy to such use on our prom, we are really grateful to Rosemary and her family.”
In a speech at the event, Joe Butcher from Sight Support Worthing said: “Everyone I have spoken to who knew Rosemary said she would have loved the bike and be the first on it and first getting an ice cream on the prom.”
After people had a go on the Triobike, Steve answered questions back at Sight Support’s headquarters in Rowlands Road. He had to head off afterwards for an 100-mile cycle to Swanage, but said he would have loved to stay and enjoy the Triobike.
Steve, 41, was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa when he was 35, an eye condition affecting the retina.
Steve said: “I am often asked what inspires me and I think people are expecting some enlightenment. I am just a normal guy, I am just very single minded. Seeing you all out and being active is amazing. I thought my life was over at 35 and to see you guys is amazing. It is really special to be here.
“All of these things I have achieved have come out of having retinitis pigmentosa. That was the missing piece of the puzzle to do what I have done.”