On their bikes to help rural kids

Tuesday 28 Feb 2017

Cyclists from Charles Sturt University (CSU) will ride 420 kilometres over three days to raise funds to help bridge the health care gap for rural children.

CSU is fielding two teams in the Royal Far West Ride for Country Kids from Wagga Wagga to Orange from Sunday 12 March to Tuesday 14 March.

Team CSU in the Royal Far West Ride 2016CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann is one of nine staff members taking part in the charity ride.

"Royal Far West programs support children that have complex development or health care needs that can't be met in their local communities," Professor Vann said.

"Charles Sturt University has a shared interest in promoting rural and regional health and I'm delighted to be taking part in the ride for the second year in a row.

"Everyone has been training hard for this and I have been relieved to find that, despite a slack period over last winter, I don't feel as exhausted as I was last year after the 100 kilometre plus training rides on the weekends."

Royal Far West provides integrated health, education and disability services delivered through a combination of residential, remote and collaborative programs.

A keen cyclist, CSU senior research liaison officer Ms Elizabeth Dunlop said, "I'm looking forward to spending three days on the bike and the fact that we are raising funds for such a worthy cause will give me extra motivation to get up those hills.

"I didn't know too much about the Royal Far West until my friend Rebecca Hillis and her son used the service," Ms Dunlop said.

Wagga Wagga mother, Ms Hillis said being able to access expert help has made a huge difference to her family.

"Through the Royal Far West Paediatric Developmental Program we've been able to access specialist assessment at the centre in Manly and tailored support for my son.

"This information and advice means we're better equipped to meet his needs at home and his school has new strategies to support his learning."

The Royal Far West Ride for Country Kids 2017 will leave Wagga Wagga on Sunday 12 March from 7am.

It will travel through Gundagai, Cootamundra, Young, Grenfell, Cowra, Canowindra and Cudal before arriving in Orange for a fundraising dinner on Tuesday 14 March.

The CSU teams in the Royal Far West Ride for 2017 are made up staff from CSU in Bathurst, Port Macquarie and Wagga Wagga.

Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business Justice and Behavioural Sciences, Professor Tracey Green, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Tim Wess, Director of Research, Associate Professor Gethin Thomas, academics Mr Jonathan Hewis and Mr Greg Linsdell, and staff members Ms Elizabeth Dunlop, Ms Liz Smith and Ms Nicole Rogers will take part in the charity ride.


Media contact: Ms Emily Malone and Ms Fiona Halloran, (02) 6933 2207

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