Reef Week 2012
Press Release Date: April 9, 2013
Location: Belize City, Belize
“I am excited aboutcompleting the last segment of the Reef Ride, from Dangriga to Punta Gorda Townlater this month to coincide with the celebration of Garifuna Settlement Day,”says paraplegic cyclist Jerome Flores. “Shaphan ‘Bala’ Domingo of Hattieville has been in training with me andplans to accompany me on this last leg of the Reef Ride. Mr. Adrian Camara of Orange Walk Town hasalso been training with us but due to health issues he might not be able tocomplete the entire 104 miles route,” Flores adds.
Reef Ride 2012 starts fromDangriga on the morning of November 18thand stops over in Independence, before continuing on to Punta Gorda Town onNovember 19th, which is a national holiday commemorating the 1802 arrivalof the Garinagu to Belizean shores.
As in previous years, Jeromesays the Ride seeks to bring awareness to the plights of people living withdiverse abilities. The Reef Ride alsobrings attention to Oceana in Belize’s campaign for a ban on offshore oildrilling due to its threat to Belize’s marine resource. Additionally, as explained by Oceana Vice PresidentMrs. Audrey Matura-Shepherd, “Sponsoring the Reef Ride is one way Oceanaparticipates in celebrations for Garifuna Settlement Day while giving positivesupport to our Belizeans living with diverse abilities. Jerome is an inspiration and it’s good to seeShaphan has been inspired to join.”
This year Jerome is riding anInvacare professional trike provided through US-based Challenged AthletesFoundation. This is an upgrade from thedo-it-yourself trike he had used in prior years and which has now been passedon to Shaphan.
Jerome recently participatedin the Orange Walk Town to Belize City segment of the Ride Across Belize aspart of his preparation for the Reef Ride. Beyond the Reef Ride, Jerome and team hope to represent Belize at the2016 Para-Olympics in Rio de Janero, Brazil, following the Summer Olympics. Jerome, Shaphan and Adrian have been trainingfor months now in preparation for this final stage of his ride across thecountry. Despite losing a leg earlierthis year, Jerome has remained committed to see it through and to arrive inPunta Gorda in record time.