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Fifty-three cyclists will hit the road later this week.

A Big Ride For Youth

A Big Ride For Youth

Fifty-three cyclists will hit the road later this week.

Cyclists Hitting The Road To Support Local Youth Initiative.

Fifty-three cyclists will hit the road this Friday in the Big Ride for Big Life, a 285 kilometre ride to support an innovative initiative tackling mental health issues among local children.

Ranging in experience from social to elite, the cyclists leave Warrnambool in a number of groups from 3.00am and ride to Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium, where they will be welcomed by Melbourne City councillor Cr Jamal Hakim.

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The ride will raise money for Big Life, established in Warrnambool six years ago in response to an ever-increasing wave of mental health-related problems presenting at local schools.

Executive Officer for Big Life and the Warrnambool Student Wellbeing Association Shane Wilson says Big Life aims to build healthy mindsets in local youth.

“We are all aware of the enormous impact of depression and anxiety in our community, however it is especially prevalent in our schools, with extremely high levels of self-harm and suicidal thoughts among children in primary and high schools,”

“In 2021 Big Life will operate at Warrnambool College, Brauer College as well as Grasmere. Koroit, Woodford, Woolsthorpe, Warrnambool West and Merrivale Primary Schools, allowing students to develop a strong growth mind set and building resilience across 13 years of education.”

“Big Life aims to allow our kids live a big life, unburdened by the shackles of mental health. Big Life is proactive and works to develop a positive and resilient mindset and develop the strengths of the next generation.”

The route between Melbourne and Warrnambool is an iconic Australian cycling course, with the second oldest one-day cycling classic in the world, the Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic, having followed the route in both directions since 1895.

Joel Pearson who won the Melbourne to Warrnambool in 2009 & 2011, will for once ride the route home to Melbourne from Warrnambool. He says the chance was too good to miss.

“The opportunity to be a part of a fundraiser helping local kids in Warrnambool was too good to pass up. I’m looking froward to testing the old legs out again on this course which has given me so much over the years.”

Former VFL footballer and local Warrnamboolian Nigel Kol will participate in his second Big Ride.

“It is great to be a part of an event where we all come together, share the highs, and the lows, and raise money for a valuable cause”.

The Big Ride is in its second year after last year’s inaugural event was a huge success raising $47,000.00. With $28,000.00 raised so far, organisers hope to hit their goal of $50,000.00 by the time of the event.

Cyclists will head to Colac via Timboon and Scotts Creek, then take the Cape Otway Road to Geelong, then to Melbourne via Lara.

Donation information can be found at this link: https://warrnambooltomelbourne2021.gofundraise.com.au/pages/search

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