Pedal power to help hospice

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Te Anau to Invercargill Rotary and Hospice Charity Cycle Challenge organiser Ron Taylor with Hospice Southland events co-ordinator Suzanne Prentice at the hospice in Invercargill last week.

IT may seem like an onerous challenge, but the Te Anau to Invercargill Rotary and Hospice Charity Cycle Challenge 2021 is completely doable, its organiser and 68-year-old participant says.

Challenge organiser and cyclist Ron Taylor said the bike ride was not a race, more a bike ride around Southland raising money for a great cause.

“There’s no winners, the only winner is hospice,” he said.

Broken down to 10 stages along the way, riders could take part in the full distance of 160km or the easier 100km distance from Mossburn to Invercargill, which took out the Te Anau hills, Mr Taylor said.

The longest stage was 20km.

There were options for teams of two, three or four riders but teams must supply their own vehicle which could hold all the bikes, he said.

Riders paid a limited entry fee but were encouraged to gain sponsorship from friends, family and colleagues.

Participants would leave Te Anau at about 9am on Saturday, February 20, with arrival in Invercargill expected to be about 5pm.

Cyclists could then enjoy a dinner with a charity auction at Hospice Southland.

Hospice events co-ordinator Suzanne Prentice said Hospice Southland needed to raise $2.5 million a year to keep its services available to people in the community, and the cycle challenge, organised by all Rotary clubs throughout Southland, was an important part of the fundraising year.

“It’s hugely important, especially given the year we’ve had,” she said.

“It’s such a good fundraiser for hospice, which is just brilliant.”

The money raised each year provided support for families and patients going through stressful times.

The organisation provided specialist palliative care for those with a life-limiting illness.

Mr Taylor had experienced first hand the support and care provided by Hospice Southland when his wife Carol became ill.

“It’s a difficult road to go down. In the end, it’s a nice place to be.”

Mr Taylor, who had ridden in all four past events, would be taking to the road again for this year’s event.

“It’s a fun event testing your own endurance it’s about riding your bike while doing good for the community.”

  • Anyone wishing to enter the charity cycle challenge or donate a prize for the auction could email Mr Taylor at ron.carol@xtra.co.nz or to sponsor a cyclist go to www.hospicesouthland.org.nz/pages/sponsorarider.
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