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Red Shield riders complete the challenge

Red Shield riders complete the challenge

Red Shield riders complete the challenge

9 May 2019

Red Shield riders and crew members outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground today on completion of their 10-day journey from Sydney to Melbourne.

By Lauren Martin

A team of cyclists has completed the 1400 kilometre Salvation Army Red Shield Ride from Sydney to Melbourne, arriving at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to the cheers of supporters.

Organiser Peter Cleave said the ride was a “huge success ... an amazing experience”, with the riders not only promoting the Red Shield Appeal along the way but also receiving support and generosity of The Salvation Army community in regional centres.

“We heard stories along the way,” said Peter. “Testimonies of people whose lives have been transformed and how The Salvation Army walked alongside them in their darkest moments.”

“And the riders got challenged physically at all different levels… it’s one thing to ride 150 kilometres in one day because you can rest the next day, but when you do it back to back for 10 days, there’s not much room for error. But everybody did so well.”

The ride raised more than $245,000 for The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal.

Making a difference

One of the cyclists, Jennifer, said the ride was a great way to “help make a difference to people in our community who are struggling”. 

She said the cause is close to her heart. “I owe much of where I am today to The Salvation Army. As a child, I remember food shopping with my mother on [Salvation Army] food coupons. There simply wasn’t enough money in our household for food. 

“I remember the excitement and joy I felt when we went shopping with our coupons. It was like Christmas morning but better. So now, over 30 years later, it is time that I give back.” 

About three years ago, Jennifer broke her leg in three places after a bike accident where she hit slippery railway tracks at a crossing. She said completing the Red Shield Ride gave her a lot of confidence in her ongoing mental and physical recovery.

“It’s been awesome. I loved it,” she said. “I have certainly formed friendships on the ride with people who work directly with the Salvos, or have some connection, and I think those bonds of friendship will last for many years to come hopefully.

“I hope the funds raised help anyone having a hard time in life, and that can be any of us. Whatever needs the Salvos can help out with, I hope the funds raised will help support that.”

The Red Shield Ride was the largest peer-to-peer fundraising that The Salvation Army has ever done. To find out more information about the Red Shield Ride, donate, or express interest in future rides, head to salvationarmy.org.au/redshieldride

The inaugural fundraising ride, involving 25 riders, was held over 10 days, with participants following a route from the Sydney Cricket Ground, through Canberra, to Melbourne, climbing a total of 16,000 metres over the course of the journey – almost twice and high as Mount Everest!

 

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