The Camp Quality 1000 Ks 4 Kids Newcastle crew are a group of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and on Wednesday they stopped over in Wellington to share an important message.
The 73-person group, featuring 46 riders and a support crew, stayed overnight in Wellington on day 6 of their 10-day journey to raise vital funds to support children impacted by cancer.
The cyclists commenced the ride from Benalla on September 8 and will finish up at Warners Bay.
Their goal is to raise $500,000 dollars to support Camp Quality in providing resilience building camps, therapy programs, respite houses, and a children’s guide to cancer app. A primary school education program has also been incorporated into the treck where puppets are used to educate children on cancer and conveying anti-bullying messages.
Fundraising coordinator for Camp Quality Newcastle, Shari Nichol, said it is important to get off the beaten track and visit small communities such as Wellington.
“It’s really important to us to incorporate communities in order to spread the word of Camp Quality and bring awareness to the cause,” she said.
“It’s important we stop at small towns to get the message out, bring our business to the communities and see the beautiful countryside out here.”
Nichol said riders range from 18 years old into their late 50s, and while they aren’t elite cyclists, they all share a common factor.
“People come for their own reasons,” she said. “Everyone appreciates the goal and we all work together as one big family.”
One cyclist, Simon Morris who first joined in 2016, said his participation in the ride comes after a first-hand encounter with cancer as a child.
“It’s so enjoyable and what you get out of it and do for the kids is great,” he said.
“It’s to give back to what Camp Quality did for my family and myself.”
Another participant, Scott Sam, said he was heavily involved with Camp Quality at the time of the ride’s inception in 2011 after his daughter was impacted by cancer.
“If I can give up 10 days a year to help Camp Quality I’m happy to come back every year,” he said.
Jack O’Toole also has a special connection with Camp Quality, having been diagnosed with a brain tumor at three months old. At five years old he joined Camp Quality until he was 17, and when he turned 18 he signed up to be a companion at the camp.
“Just giving back to the charity that helped me,” he said.
The crew rode out of Wellington bound for Gulgong on Thursday morning.
For those wishing to donate to the cause can do so by visiting http://www.1000ks4kids.org.au/newcastle/