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Clara’s Big Ride: Crossing boundaries and pushing the limits to end the stigma on mental illness

- March 17, 2014 1:50 pm

It’s not only a bike ride across Canada; it is a connected experience like we have never seen before. Clara Hughes, six-time Olympic medalist in cycling and speed skating, will be pushing the limit in an epic 110-day (12,000 KM) journey to connect, educate and mobilize Canadians in a conversation on mental health. The exciting part is, we will be there to support her at every turn!

Clara Hughes Journey

Clara Hughes Journey

Cisco Canada is thrilled to partner with Bell and provide the technology solutions to help Clara share her journey and powerful message with Canadians! We’re all about helping build a more connected Canada, through constant innovation, partnership and community transformation.  Through Clara’s ride we can demonstrate the power of connection and collaboration, to create meaningful change, in a BIG way. It’s an exciting initiative that gets to the heart of what we do!

Here’s how technology is enabling the ride…

We’ve outfitted Clara’s bus with an EX60 TelePresence unit, enabling high-definition video connections in real-time. With this technology, Clara can stay connected to family and friends; record video blogs to share her experience with fans from anywhere, and even conduct live broadcast interviews. While Clara’s focused on the road, we’ll help to ensure she stays connected and never misses a beat.

We’re also enabling Clara to share her message in real-time, and engage students, athletes and mental health workers in national conversations on mental illness. With 12,000KM to cover, it’s tough to have the time to visit every community. Through WebEx Enable TelePresence, a platform that allows any user on a video-enabled end point to join a meeting, we’ve provided Clara the means to engage thousands of Canadians – no matter where they live! Clara will use the technology to get the word out, build understanding and start changing the way mental illness is perceived. In her first session, broadcast live from Inukskuk high school in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Clara will to speak to grade 7-10 students from across the country. From Vancouver, she’ll reach out to athletes to share her personal journey and the importance of good mental health. And from Thunder Bay, Clara will connect with Canada’s community of mental health practitioners.

I am excited to be apart of this conversation, and even more eager to watch Clara test the limits in real-time! I am a cyclist and an enthusiast for pushing the boundaries. I know this is going to be a ride to remember! Amazing things can happen when the unconnected connect. I can’t wait to see the journey unfold and the positive impact Canadians will make together!

Clara Hughes greeting the Toronto riders who joined her for the first 5 KM of her ride.

Clara Hughes greeting the Toronto riders who joined her for the first 5 KM of her ride.

For more information on Cisco’s involvement please visit our website, or join the conversation online by using the hashtagh #ClarasBigRide.

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