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Cayuga Velo team fundraising event supports Special Olympics

Registration is open now for the June 3 charitable event that mirrors the incredible cycling events on great European racetracks, organizers say
File photo

Special Olympics Ontario and Ontario Cycling are partnering for the inaugural Cayuga Velo team fundraising event in support of a fantastic cause that changes the lives of individuals with an intellectual disability through participation in sport.

Offering a four and eight-hour relay on June 3, the event will directly benefit more than 26,000 Special Olympics athletes across the province, according to a news release.

Cayuga Velo will take place on the four-kilometre auto race circuit track at Toronto Motorsports Park and mirrors incredible cycling events on great European racetracks, including Le Mans, Brands Hatch, Zolder and the Nurburgring. Registration is open now at

“Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared training and competition opportunities. Cayuga Velo will see the introduction of a new unified sport for Ontario athletes with an intellectual disability and see them compete and participate alongside their peers without an intellectual disability,” says president and CEO of Special Olympics Ontario Glenn MacDonell.

“This unified initiative will not only introduce new people to the sport of cycling, but will help create an inclusive atmosphere while breaking down stereotypes, providing sport for all.”

The cycling relay will be an exciting event, not only for experienced riders, but it will also incorporate Ontario Cycling’s HopON programming. The program provides an opportunity for Special Olympics athletes to embrace the sport of cycling, learn a little more about cycling and learn how to ride safely.

HopOn is a games-based cycling program delivered by Ontario Cycling and teaches school-aged kids across the province the joys of cycling safely. The program is modelled after Cycling BC’s existing iRide program, overseen by Cycling Canada and delivered locally by our Provincial and Territorial Cycling Associations. 

Ontario Cycling will be hosting the HopOn program during the event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This learn-to-ride program will engage with Special Olympics youth and provide an opportunity to develop on-bike skills and confidence while the fundraising teams race around the track. It is a foundational initiative to increase inclusion, accessibility and safety while helping to build club capacity and help find future champions.

“Cycling is not just a sport, but an activity that can be accessible for all levels of ability and also a way to create a community of inclusion and fun with others. The HopOn program is a great way to teach youth and adults alike useful skills but also how to ride safely on the road. 

We are thrilled to partner with Special Olympics Ontario to support the Cayuga Velo event to raise funds supporting Special Olympics athletes across the province,” says Ontario Cycling president and CEO Pamela Julian. “But we also see this is an opportunity to show how powerful sport can be in creating a culture of inclusion and belonging.”