19/04/2013 - 09:39

Cyclists make healthy effort

19/04/2013 - 09:39


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Cyclists make healthy effort
Gary Doran sports the team colours. Photo: Bohdan Warchomij

From major rides that take over freeways, to smaller, more intimate groups keeping to selected cycle routes, it seems more people are getting on to their bikes to support health-related charities.

Despite a relatively small field of riders compared to other cycling events, the 1,000-kilometre, eight-day SolarisCare Red Sky Ride has managed to raise $1.5 million over its six-year lifetime.

SolarisCare CEO David Edwards said the money had gone towards improving the services of the not-for-profit organisation, which aims to support people affected by cancer – patients, their family members and friends.

 “With the event’s growth from humble beginnings, it is a real demonstration of the passion, drive and commitment of Western Australian business people as leaders, volunteers, riders and sponsors and demonstrates the enormous generosity of the WA business community,” Mr Edwards said.

Twenty-seven riders comprising five corporate teams took part in this year’s ride in late February-early March, including Team Zenith Insurance Services, Team Airlite Group and Team Brierty, which raised the most money with 322 donations.

Team Brierty member and Deloitte partner Gary Doran, who joined the ride to improve his fitness, was also inspired by his 21-year-old son, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in May last year.

“Some times it’s easy to give money, but to align it to one of your other goals makes it more rewarding, whether that’s personal fitness, getting up and meeting new people, supporting a charity for a good cause, or doing something to align with your son,” Mr Doran told Business News.

Mr Doran said his participation in the ride was both an opportunity to raise money for SolarisCare and to demonstrate his support for his son while he underwent treatment.

“The way they’ve designed the ride, I always thought it was bizarre,” he said. “Why are we doing it at the end of February, the hottest time in the South-West? It’s because no one is doing it easy when they’re getting treatment, so why
should we do it easy?”

Another charitable cycling event, the RAC Freeway Bike Hike for the Asthma Foundation of WA, was held last month.

The annual event, which takes riders up the Kwinana and Mitchell freeways to a finish in the city, attracted more than 10,000 participants this year, which is a 25 per cent increase on last year, making it the largest cycling event in the state.

A large group rallied together and formed a team for the event as an act of support for the Staniforth family, who lost their daughter, Fiona, to an asthma attack on New Year’s Eve.

As close family friends, the Doran family rode with the team and were joined by Ms Staniforth’s peers from Methodist Ladies’ College, raising a combined $27,000.

The money will be put towards a scholarship in Ms Staniforth’s name that will enable more research into the causes of asthma, which affects one in 10 Australians.



Some of the charitable cycling events in WA

*data according to last event


SolarisCare Red Sky Ride

Charity: SolarisCare

Participants: 27

Location: Starts in Subiaco, travels through the south-west and returns to Perth

First held in 2008

8 days, 1000 km

Raised: $410,000


Hawaiian Ride for Youth

Charity: Youth Focus

Participants: 79

Location: course starts in Albany and finishes in Perth

First held in 2003

5 days, 700+km

Raised: 1.5m+


Tour de Gracetown


Charity: Margaret River Hospital, Telethon

Participants: 200+

Location: begins and ends at Edward’s Winery

First held in 2008

1 day, 97km

Raised: $50,000+


RAC Freeway Bike Hike for Asthma

Charity: Asthma Foundation WA

Participants: 10,100+

Locations: Full Hike - Mandurah-Langley Park

                  Mid Hike - Currambine-Langley Park

                  or Kwinanna-Langley Park

                  Mini Hike - Bull Creek-Langley Park

                  or Stirling-Langley Park

First held in 2005

1 day, 10.7-67km

Raised: $190,000


Gibb River Road Mountain Bike Challenge

Charity: Ryan Marron Foundation, charity of choice

Participants: 450

Location:Gibb River Road in the Kimberley

First held in 2007

5 days, 700+km

Raised: $500,000


Santos Great Bike Ride

Charity: Horizon House, Hope for Children, Heart Foundation

Participants: 3,650+

Location: starts in Perth, goes to Fremantle and returns (circles Swan River)

                shorter version goes to UWA and returns

First held in 2004

1 day, 10-106km

Raised: $120,000


Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer

Charity: Western Australian Institute for Medical Research

Participants: 1,200+

Location: Perth to Pinjarra and return

First held in 2012

2 days, 200 km

Raised: $4.6m


In last week’s article on charitable marathon events in WA, the 2012 fundraising total for the Relay for Life was incorrectly quoted.

The correct total is $2.7million. Business News apologises for the error.



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