Instead of walking around a track this year, Relay for Life teams can choose where they “relay”, so Bundaberg Cycling Club is taking it a step further – with the goal of cycling around Australia.
Like Relay, it will be virtual, with members clocking up the kilometres they ride from Saturday 11 July to Saturday 19th September; and their goal is to do at least 14,500 kilometres – the length of the A1 Highway around Australia.
This ten-week challenge encompasses the entirety of the term 3 School period and members of the public are invited to be part of the event.
Bundaberg Cycling Club President Wayne Morden said it will be a great way to be part of the community.
Cycling for the community
“As a club committee we have often spoken about how we can engage with the community in a real way that demonstrates our sports capacity to them,” Wayne said.
“Cycling has long been a sport that has been utilized as a community organisation fundraising tool and, in reality, when you haven’t been able to race, and you love to cycle then why not put that skill, passion and energy into something that can make a positive impact on the community around you.”
Wayne is hoping that not only Cycling Club members will get involved, but anyone who loves to cycle, as well as anyone who wants to try a new challenge and experience the benefits cycling can offer them.
“With easing of COVID-19 regulations happening in Queensland this week we are hopeful of being able to return to racing in some formats,” Wayne said.
“In the current economic and social climate cycling is still an accessible form of fitness and sport and presents itself in many shapes and forms.
“Given that so many sports are cancelling their seasons it is the perfect opportunity for athletes from those sports to get involved in cycling both recreationally and competitively to maintain their fitness.
Young people leading the way
“We are aiming this fundraiser at our younger generation to lead the way, whilst mentoring them through the whole process”.
“Through conversations with Duncan Allen a month ago and his aspirations to go the next step in his cycling career, we both agreed that working together towards this project could potentially be the difference between an international team choosing him over somebody from their own country who had equal talent, so we got the ball rolling.
“Professional sporting teams are moving away from just viewing a person’s sporting talent and are looking for athletes who can actively engage with their community and meet the needs of those around them, this is a perfect opportunity for Duncan Allen and all our club to showcase how much they care about the communities around them.”
Duncan is very excited about being involved in this novel fundraiser.
He will be heading to the National Titles in Brisbane on 30 September.
“The Relay for Life cycle campaign will be the perfect lead into the track season.”
Duncan will be the only cyclist from Bundaberg at the national titles.
At the Oceania Track Cycling Titles last year he was the fastest Australian in the 1 kilo (one kilometre time trial) and is currently ranked fourth in the world for his age division where he is among the youngest.
This event was Duncan’s first international event showing his maturity to step up to the next series of challenges that he will face in his career.
“I’m looking forward to being part of this great community service event,” Duncan said.
“We’re hoping families and young and older riders will all be involved.
The cause is very dear to the heart of President Wayne.
He has just completed 6 months chemotherapy and immunotherapy in Brisbane and is now in remission.
Wayne is currently undergoing a further two years of treatment, involving regular visits to Brisbane to hopefully prolong his expected remission period.
“It sounds like a cliche response but when you learn that you have cancer of any sort the emotions experienced are something that you can’t really put in to words,” Wayne said.
“I’m very grateful for the support of my family, the committee and our members.
“Regular cycling throughout treatment has been important for me during my treatment to help me mentally with the challenges cancer present you with.
“I am particularly thankful that such a young person as Duncan shows the compassion and desire to make a difference from within our club and has taken control of such a project.
Goal of 14,500 kms
“As a club we want to ride 14,500km – the equivalent of cycling around Australian on the A1 highway.
“Our club will be tallying all the kilometres completed over term 3 of school to hopefully complete the distance more than once.
“For this we want to raise a dollar a kilometre, that means $14,500!!
“On August 8th, the Relay for Life day, The Bundaberg Cycling Club will have a Come and Try day for those who are interested.
“All laps completed on this come and try day will go to the total distance covered for our goal.
“COVID-19 has caused many difficulties for people in the community to participate in the regular Relay for life.
“This 10-week cycle challenge is open to everybody in the community to join the Bundaberg Cycling Club Relay for life team and contribute to our financial and Km goals.
“This is a great way for businesses, community groups, families, disability services, school students etc. to be part of the event and to be able to give back to relay for life.
“We invite everyone who is interested in being involved to get involved, contribute and support our cause.
“It is the club’s intention to become further involved in community events from here on and we are already looking in to what we can do next year.”
Anyone wanting to register for the Bundaberg Cycling Club team or simply donate to the cause can follow this link.
To keep up to date with the Club’s progress, follow their Facebook page.