A TEAM of 10 cyclists from Brophy Family & Youth Services is among the new teams to take on next month’s Murray to Moyne (M2M) long-distance cycle relay.
The team is raising funds for a new headspace Warrnambool project that will provide an innovative physical activity program for disadvantaged young people.
The program will include canoeing, peer mentoring, environmental learning and skills for maintaining good mental health.
Headspace spokeswoman Karen Walsh said the team had been in training since February for the April 5-6 ride.
Team members will ride the daytime route in relay from Echuca to Port Fairy.
The team includes two experienced M2M riders, Mark Powell and Brophy chief executive Francis Broekman, who will mentor and motivate the team.
Ms Walsh said Brophy had decided to take part in the M2M to highlight the importance of physical activity in maintaining good mental health and to raise funds for the mental health project that it hopes to run in partnership with Warrnambool’s WAVE school later this year.
“Every team member has been training hard and working on sponsorships to make sure we raise as much money as possible,” she said.
The team will hold a fund-raising event at the Capitol Cinema at 7pm on Thursday, March 27 with the screening of the film Tracks.
The M2M is an annual charity cycling relay run since 1987 to raise funds for community health-related organisations in Victoria and South Australia.
Teams of cyclists are sponsored to ride 520km from a choice of three departure points on the Murray River to Port Fairy within a 24-hour period.
The event also incorporates lesser distances to include cyclists of all ages and abilities.
M2M co-ordinator Maggie Leutton said about 1100 riders from 72 teams were so far registered to take part in the 2014 event, with more teams expected to register in the next few weeks.
Ms Leutton said teams comprised up to 40 members this year after the event relaxed a restriction on the size of teams.
M2M continues the dream of Port Fairy cyclist Graham ‘Woody’ Woodrup, who was keen to show more people the health and social benefits of cycling.
Tragically, Woody’s life ended while on a training ride in February 1992 but his vision lives on in the relay.
“Woody was one of the early adopters — one of the first people to understand the benefits of cycling,” Ms Leutton said.
“This event came about because of his efforts and it’s fabulous to see members of his family still involved today,” she said.
n Tickets to the Tracks night are $17 including light supper, available at Kulcha Shift Retail, 210 Timor Street, or at the Capitol Cinema.