The Haute Route™, one of the most revered amateur cycling event series in the world, has announced a partnership with the Team Type 1 Foundation, naming the Foundation as its official charity of choice for the 2014 calendar year. The partnership will support the Foundation’s global mission of equal access to life saving medication for everyone with diabetes and developing heroes through sport.
Organized by OC Sport and comprised of three events in 2014, including the Haute Route Dolomites & Swiss Alps (August 16th-22nd), Haute Route Alps (August 24th-30th) and Haute Route Pyrenees (September 1st-7th), the Haute Route events are known as the ‘Highest and Toughest Cyclosportives in the World’. Hundreds of cyclists will tackle the steepest and most world-renowned cycling terrain in the world. Since its inaugural event in 2011, the Haute Route also incorporates a charitable component offering participants the opportunity to fundraise for specific philanthropic initiatives.
“Riders who participate in the Haute Route events are notoriously driven and passionate about cycling, and also deeply generous, “ commented Phil Southerland, Founder & President of the Team Type 1 Foundation. “We’re thrilled to be their charity of choice this year and can’t wait to see what a positive impact these athletes will make on people with diabetes around the world.”
Southerland was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was just seven months old and doctors told his mother he would likely not live past the age of 25. Despite the grim diagnosis, Southerland didn’t just overcome the odds, but fulfilled his dream of becoming a professional cyclist. He is now the Founder and President of the Team Type 1 Foundation as well as the co-founder and CEO of Team Novo Nordisk the world’s first all diabetes professional cycling team.
Funds raised will go directly to programs shaping public healthcare policy around the world, donations of blood glucose testing supplies for people with diabetes in developing countries, and scholarships for collegiate athletes with diabetes in the U.S.
“Since 2011, Haute Route riders have raised over $1 Million for various charities,” said OC Sport CEO, Rémi Duchemin. “It is an integral part of many riders participation that, as well as meeting their own personal objective on the bike, they also do more by giving back to a charitable cause. We hope that many of the 2014 riders will be inspired to raise funds for such a good cause as the Team Type 1 Foundation.”
The Team Type 1 Foundation works to address disparities in diabetes care around the world through collaborative strategies that engage governments, health organizations, healthcare providers, diabetes educators and people with diabetes. The Foundation’s focus on creating a sustainable model of diabetes care in developing countries is based in part on the success of the National Diabetes Program in Macedonia – one of the most progressive diabetes care policies in the world – which fully covers the cost of insulin, glucose testing supplies and insulin pumps for everyone in the country living with diabetes. In the U.S., the Foundation offers a scholarship program for collegiate athletes with diabetes to help offset the cost of diabetes care.
In 2014, the Haute Route is asking all participants to support the Team Type 1 Foundation mission and help achieve a €500,000 goal.