Name: Steve Bate MBE
Steve Bate was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2011 and officially registered blind. He was encouraged to try para-cycling by friend and Great Britain Cycling Team rider Karen Darke and was accepted onto British Cycling’s Paralympic Development Programme in 2013 with his pilot Adam Duggleby.
They turned out to be the dream team and in the Paralympic Games in Rio they dominated the tandem endurance events, setting a new world record in qualifying to win gold in the tandem pursuit on the track, winning gold in the time-trial on the road before rounding off with a bronze medal in the road race.
“Chase your dreams, regardless of the barriers.”
Steve is a Sense Charity Ambassador and he decided to take part in Deloitte Ride Across Britain 2017 on his Sonder Fat Bike, which has four-inch tyres, to make the biggest impact for the charity and to set himself a real challenge.
Losing his sight has changed Steve’s life and he understands how important the work Sense does is to others in his position.
“The support I received from my local charity at the time, was instrumental in my recovery. They helped me deal with the fact my life was changing, and showed me how to cope and plan ahead.”
“I like to put myself through the wringer, to see just what I’m capable of. I’m not scared of failure. Too many people are, and it stops them doing what they really want to do.”
Clearly it worked for Steve who has gone on to achieve amazing things since that diagnosis in 2011.
“But,” he says, “without that support, I may well still have been in a state of depression and angry at myself and my diagnosis. These days, I focus on the positives.”