StudentNews_RideForTheirLivesCOP

SHLS students and staff find the right gear with COP26 event

Tue, 02 Nov 2021 16:19:00 GMT
Megan helped hold the sign to welcome doctors to Glasgow after their monumental effort
Megan helped hold the sign to welcome doctors to Glasgow after their monumental effort

GCU Students have teamed up with staff members to welcome an inspirational group of doctors to Glasgow, as part of COP26 beginning in the city. 

Ride For Their Lives saw 70 doctors cycle 500-miles from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, in an effort to raise awareness of climate change, environmental degradation and air pollution. 

Physiotherapy students Megan Macgregor and Piotr Marczak joined SHLS staff members, to give a friendly Glasgow boost to the dedicated participants on the last section of their journey from the Royal Hospital for Children to the finish line at Gartnavel Hospital. 

Megan, who’s in her first year of the MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) programme, explained why she got involved. She said: “We had a shout-out from our Programme Lead asking us to come along and support these doctors and their cause.  

I’ve been cycling for a long time and thought it was a wonderful idea. I really appreciated the amount of work it would have taken away from their families, as well as their actual job, to do this week of cycling from London to Glasgow. I thought it would be nice if there was a welcome committee here to greet them. 

Despite being an experienced cyclist, Megan insists it wasn’t all plane sailing, although the rewards far outweighed the risks.  

She explained: “At one point we went through the Clyde Tunnel, which absolutely terrifies me! I’ve cycled through it in the past and they’ve got rid of the graffiti and it’s been nicely painted but I’m just glad I had a bunch of very fit people in front of me, because I wouldn’t be doing it myself! 

Megan added: “When we got to Gartnaval, we did a few trips round and got our pictures taken. There was a brass band there playing and it was a lot of fun! Part of me did kind of feel that we were oversharing in the glitter a bit, because these doctors had cycled from London in torrential rain, and we were just coming in at the end – but it really was a great day.” 

COP26 has been billed as politician’s last chance to save the world but Megan believes we can look a bit closer to home to make small changes that can benefit everyone. 

She said: “I have this really horrible feeling that everyone is doing this anxiety avoidance strategy when it comes to climate change. I totally understand it because we couldn’t get through the day if we were thinking about the impact we’ve had on the environment, it’s horrific.  

We really have to embrace getting on bikes, getting out of cars, walking if we can and insisting we work from home - if that’s a possibility.  

We’ve had this real wake-up in the last couple of years with covid that we can do things differently and that to me should be shaking people up. Particularly now with COP26, we should be thinking, ‘I’ll take two less car journeys per week’ or ‘I’ll cycle rather than get the bus’.” 

 

By Ross Clark        
Got an SHLS or GSBS story? Email Ross.Clark@gcu.ac.uk or connect with me on Twitter