Ryan Phillips stopped in Salmon Arm Thursday, June 6, to talk about his ride around the globe to raise awareness around mental health and the importance of reaching out for help. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Former B.C. hockey player now biking the globe for mental health

Ryan Phillips stops in Salmon Arm during journey to raise awareness

Ryan Phillips has definitely chosen to ride instead of hide.

The Lower Mainland resident rode into Salmon Arm Thursday, June 7, for an afternoon interview and a break before returning to his cross-country bicycle trek the following morning.

A former professional hockey player who played a season with the Vernon Vipers (1995/96), Phillips’ current journey, across not just Canada but the world, is fuelled by a determination to raise awareness around mental health.

“I suffered from bipolar which is a debilitating disease… recently I’ve gone to medication and my life has taken a turn for the absolute better, hence why I am riding this ride for the purpose of helping inspire people that suffer from mental health illness of any different kind,” said Phillips.

Phillips said his ride began at the Terry Fox monument in Victoria. As of Friday, he had logged approximately 750 kilometres, choosing to ride through Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon before stopping in Salmon Arm.

“We took the long way, but it’s OK. It made me strengthen my legs a little bit,” laughed Phillips. “You really get to see B.C. in all its beauty.”

Read more: Getting ready for Ride Don’t Hide

Read more: In photos: Lunch launch to Ride Don’t Hide

Read more: Ride Don’t Hide

The idea to ride around the world was inspired by Phillips’ recent journey through Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

“That was really cool and I knew at that point, if I was going to do a ride, I wanted to do it for a purpose and as soon as I got back to Canada, I’m going to do the world,” said Phillips. “I really love challenges, maybe that stems from my hockey career…”

Phillips’ message to those who might be suffering from mental health issues is to not be afraid to reach out.

“Anybody who is suffering. Reach out. There is help. If i can do it, you can do it.”

Phillips noted Salmon Arm residents can do their own riding for mental health awareness in the annual Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Shuswap-Revelstoke’s Ride Don’t Hide event on Saturday, June 23. Registration for that event, to be held at the Little Mountain Sports Complex and park, is already underway. More information can be found at the CMHA website.

Those wanting to learn more about Phillips’ journey can find him at spintheglobe.ca, or on his spin-the-globe gofundme page, where he is raising funds for his ride.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Bicycle incident on Daimer Drive in West Kelowna

One man has been taken to hospital

Kikinee Salmon Festival returns to Kelowna for another year

The Kikinee Salmon Festival is taking place this Sunday at Mission Creek Regional Park in Kelowna.

Bulls on parade down Glenmore

A small bull ran into traffic on Glenmore Road in Kelowna earlier this morning

City of Kelowna to host public engagement sessions on future planning

The city is taking feedback on the direction of the OCP, the TMP and the 20-year Servicing Plan

Kelowna’s first-ever fringe festival starts Thursday

The international festival will host 12 different acts over three days

‘It’s almost surreal’: South Okanagan fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Kootnekoff: Wrongful dismissal award against B.C. law firm

A recent case from a Vancouver-based law firm

North Okanagan’s own CSI digging into crime mysteries

Forensic Identification Section a specialized support unit used in various cases

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Craft breweries showcased during Penticton Beer Week

To celebrate, all seven of the city’s breweries will be collaborating on a limited release draft

Homeless man arrested after assaulting Vernon race volunteer

Course markers behind incident in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park race

Death race runners to artists, South Okanagan speaker series has it all

The Pecha Kucha Penticton series returns with the theme of: We Made It

Most Read