“Working from this, in my asset, I shall aim to convey the mental health impacts of being isolated during the pandemic, from the perspective of college student cyclists in the town of Innerleithen through a short documentary. This will detail the mental effect of physical lockdown in an increasingly digital world, the divides between different parts of society as fuel for animosity, and introduce the idea of the positive impact of exercise and the outdoors, in the form of mountain biking, in dealing with stress and other mental hazards surrounding the pandemic.

This experience is very much a personal one, hence the reason I chose to take a documentary approach focusing on interviews, to find qualitative data from those I spoke to. This suited my aim in conveying a perspective of those who had benefited from mountain biking, and showing therefore how it could help to alleviate some of the mental health stress which has undoubtedly been exacerbated by COVID and its implications.

I aimed to appeal to young people through the documentary; it is clear they are an extremely vulnerable group in terms of mental health disorders and also whose lives are heavily reliant on sport and exercise. The documentary’s purpose in terms of this group is to raise awareness of the positive impact of sport on mental health and how this is more important than ever in light of the pandemic.

It is my hope that, in a society where mental health is steadily developing greater awareness and recognition, the asset will fulfill the idea that there are more ways of tackling this problem than a simply medical approach. I believe that with a more holistic view, we can relieve stress on the health service and bring about a balance between treating both physical and mental health issues; I aim for the asset to show how this can be created. ”


Alexander Bell



Edinburgh, Scotland

Currents 2020