The UN and the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team to recognize World Bicycle Day on June 3rd
Team Novo Nordisk, a global all-diabetes cycling team, and the United Nations are proud to celebrate the inaugural World Bicycle Day on Sunday, June 3rd in New York City where they will emphasize and encourage the bicycle as a means of promoting health and preventing disease.
The special event will be recognized by the UN General Assembly in New York City, including comments from Team Novo Nordisk’s CEO and Co-Founder Phil Southerland and members of the team alongside several UN leaders and diplomats, cycling community advocates, athletes and cycling officials.
Team Novo Nordisk aims to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes. Southerland was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was only seven months old. His mother was told he would be dead or blind by age 25. From an early age, Southerland’s effective diabetes management included riding his bike.
“I recognized early on the power of the bike, not only did it help with my diabetes management, but it also gave me a sense of normalcy and freedom,” said Southerland. “This inspired me to use cycling as a platform to spread a message of empowerment and hope and to raise awareness and highlight the importance of exercise on a global level.”
Team Novo Nordisk strongly believes as stated in the UN resolution and shares the vision to increase cycling on a global level, to strengthen physical and mental health and well-being and to develop a culture of cycling in society, as affirmed in the resolution.
Insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor for noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes. One in four adults aren’t active enough, and more than 80 percent of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. Globally, we need to take action to provide individuals with more opportunities to increase physical activity, and cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It is also affordable, cheap and good for the environment.
In September 2015, the UN adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Working together with our title sponsor and global diabetes care leader, Novo Nordisk, we believe that everyone needs to do their part to reach these goals and to reduce the burden of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.
“With nearly three decades worth of personal experience of riding a bike, I have first-hand knowledge of how the bike improves health,” said Southerland. “I am extremely proud that I’m able to take the power of the bike and spread it beyond the diabetes and cycling communities and to the world at large. World Bicycle Day is a dream come true.”
At Team Novo Nordisk, we recognize the passion and commitment by Dr. Leszek Sibilski, a former member of the Polish National Olympic team and global development thought leader and advocate. Together with his sociology students at Montgomery College, their drive and vision created World Bicycle Day.
We also recognize and appreciate the United Nations General Assembly for sponsoring the adoption of World Bicycle Day and achieving the consensus of 193 member states.
Team Novo Nordisk’s athletes use the bike to help manage their diabetes and understand that exercise is critical for proper diabetes management. The team encourages everyone around the world to get out and ride a bicycle.