American Heart Association to host CycleNation event at OU

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Courtesy of American Heart Association (CycleNation)

Oakland University will host the first CycleNation event in the state.

Rachel Yim, Staff Reporter

To help the community take control of brain and heart health, the American Heart Association (AHA) is hosting a CycleNation event Thursday, Feb. 6 at Oakland University.

According to AHA, 80% of strokes are preventable. As a nonprofit organization that funds cardiovascular medical research and fosters appropriate cardiac care, a heart revolution has been started in America that works to decrease strokes and heart disease.

CycleNation is a new initiative by the AHA to help engage more people in a different way than the annual Heart Walk has in the past.

OU has partnered with the AHA for the past two years to engage the campus community in being heart healthy and contributing to the AHA by either taking part in in the Heart Walk or other heart healthy activities hosted on campus.

This time, OU will be hosting the first CycleNation event in the state and the first in the country in higher education.

“This year, the AHA reached out to us at the [Recreation Center] to host a CycleNation event because we have the bikes needed to host a cycle class,” said Rebecca Lewis, associate director of University Recreation and Well-Being. “Both OU and the AHA felt it was a good partnership.”

As a community engagement event, the goal of the CycleNation is to raise money and awareness for the AHA and heart health. Lewis said she wanted to bring awareness to the importance of being heart healthy.

The CycleNation event will not only benefit the campus community at OU by engaging them in a healthy exercise, but it can also support the lives in Metro Detroit area with the investment raised.

“As CycleNation grows in the Metro Detroit area, I think it will get people involved with the AHA who never participated in the annual Heart Walk,” Lewis said. “CycleNation is different and can be held in different venues, which will attract people for different reasons.”

She also said it will build and become a well-attended and anticipated event for many people if the AHA continues with CycleNation in the future.

“Each event has a minimum fundraising goal per team, and the impact when you ride will make you feel all the feels,” Chris Rettich, AHA development director, said.

Bikes can be reserved for a team for an $80 donation, and student teams that generate more than $500 in donations will have an additional $50 personal donation given in their team’s name by Glenn McIntosh, vice president for student affairs and chief diversity officer.

All students who participate on a team will be getting a glow in the dark CycleNation Grizz T-shirt, but this shirt can be sold after the event for $10 if a student would like to make a donation.

To participate in the CycleNation, students can visit the AHA’s website.

“We would love to have more students participate,” Lewis said. “All the money for the bikes goes straight to the AHA, which is a very great cause.”