Decathlon’s mission has always been make sport accessible to all, wherever they are. His latest action not only confirms it but takes this goal to the extreme, by targeting people who are in jail no less.
To show how beneficial sport is for prisoners have created the first eCycling team (digital cycling) of a prison, specifically the maximum security of Oudenaarde, in Belgium.
Its components are 6 inmates who will compete through the Zwift platform against other cycling teams who are out of prison, something very positive for the prisoners because it will connect them with the reality to which they will eventually return.
To be able to carry out these virtual races Decathlon has provided each team member with a special bicycle, all the necessary equipment and a connected smart trainer that simulates hills and routes to travel digitally.
“With this project we want to show that sport unites people, despite differences or prejudices. A shared passion, in this case cycling, puts all this aside. We believe that sport is the key to teaching people to live together, help each other and respect each other”, Explained Thomas Lejeune Debarre, Decathlon’s Marketing and Communication department.
To preserve the anonymity of all prisoners will compete under the pseudonym John Doe, but viewers will be able to follow their evolution because they will record all their races through the Strava platform.
Those in charge of the prison are delighted with the initiative, as it helps to connect inmates with society “by giving them the opportunity to interact and connect with cyclists from outside the prison. This kind of experience gives them a greater chance of success when they are finally released, which makes it beneficial both for them and for society ”.