Big Ride for Bell arriving Saturday

When Olympic champion Clara Hughes rolls into Red Deer on Saturday organizers are hoping there will be a huge crowd at the Parkland Mall parking lot to welcome her.

When Olympic champion Clara Hughes rolls into Red Deer on Saturday organizers are hoping there will be a huge crowd at the Parkland Mall parking lot to welcome her.

The Big Ride for Bell Let’s Talk crosses into Alberta today as Hughes cycles across Canada raising awareness for mental health.

In conjunction with the ride, Family Services of Central Alberta will be holding a Move Your Mood event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the mall with a number of family based activities and exercises to help promote positive mental health.

“My hat goes off to Clara, because here’s an Olympian, someone who’s been in the limelight and to be open and honest about her mental health issues is huge,” said Judy Scott, the manager of Children and Youth Services.

“It removes the stigma, anybody can suffer with mental health, but we need to talk about it.”

Hughes has been very public about her own battle with depression, even as a six-time Olympic cycling and speedskating medalist.

The Big Ride started on March 14 in Toronto and will wrap up on May 31 in Ottawa as she visits 95 communities across the country.

Today she will finish up in Crowsnest Pass and will be in Claresholm on Thursday and Calgary on Friday.

She is expected to arrive at Parkland Mall at about 5:30 p.m. and will deliver a speech after given a chance to catch her breath.

Move Your Mood will go rain or shine.

jaldrich@bprda.wpengine.com

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