The Ataxian Athlete Initiative (AAI) is a program aimed to introduce cycling to Ataxians by funding the purchase of a new trike. This year Ride Ataxia received 6 applications from aspiring Ataxian athletes. Unfortunately our resources limited us to a choice of only one recipient. Our panel found the choice very difficult but in the end we were confident that our selection, Nadia Robertson, fulfills the spirit of the AAI with the willingness to stay active and encourage fellow Ataxians to do the same.

"I don't plan to stop exercising until it becomes physically impossible, which I hope is never...I am already a wheelchair user so hopefully I can inspire Ataxians who are on my same level to stay as active as possible."

Nadia Received her trike in early April and has logged quite a few miles since. She has been reaching out to fellow Ataxian Athletes for advice; keeping us in the loop the whole time:

"My ankles had been rolling in my cycling shoes so I bought some tie-up ankle braces today. I talked to Chris Meyer, a fellow FAer who has a trike, and I guess we're closer progression-wise, so he gave me some adaption tips."

With the help of the 2009 AAI we are positive that Nadia is improving her health and confidence.

The future of the Ataxian Athlete Initiative is very bright. We hope to expand the effort with more funding. This will allow us to fund more athletes encouraging our community of Ataxians to stay active!