A retired TAFE teacher and long-time cyclist is ready to make the gruelling trek from Melbourne to Warrnambool on Friday, February 24 to raise much-needed funds to arm school children with strong mental health skills.
Bill Murphy is one of 88 cyclists involved in this year's Big Ride to raise funds for A Big Life - a mental health initiative which works in schools around the Warrnambool and district community.
The 69-year-old said he saw the work paying off, with one of his grandchildren attending Grasmere Primary School, which is among eight schools to utilise the program.
"It's terrific for me to see a family member benefiting from it," he said. "Hopefully A Big Life arms kids before they have mental health problems. It gives them strategies and gives them resiliency for the things life might throw at them."
Mr Murphy, a rider of more than 30 years, said he liked to see the money raised go straight back into his local community. The ride's overall goal is $100,000.
"The money's going locally, it's staying within Warrnambool," he said. "I think it's a great cause."
This year will be Mr Murphy's third time riding the 293.1km course. He was also involved in the inaugural year, 2020, as a support person.
He said the finishing the ride in Warrnambool this year - previous rides started in Warrnambool and finished in Melbourne - "sucked him back in".
"I really like the idea of finishing in Warrnambool where you can have people come and meet you, family and friends," he said.
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