Riding for a cause

TWENTY cyclists hopped on their bikes to take part in the 14th annual PolliePedal charity ride to raise funds for Diabetes Tasmania.

Riders completed the three-day, 300-kilometre course at Long Beach Reserve in Sandy Bay on 24 February after stopping at communities to promote awareness of diabetes and educate on how it affects people and their families.

PolliePedal is Diabetes Tasmania’s major fundraising event in helping support people living with type one or type two diabetes.

“It is about the opportunity to get out because we know diabetes is a bit misunderstood in our community – people don’t necessarily understand the seriousness or the impact,” Diabetes Tasmania chief executive officer Caroline Wells said.

“Being able to get that message out to all levels of government and to the community is really important.”

Ms Wells said more than 82,000 Tasmanians either had diabetes or were at high risk of developing it.

“It’s also having supports for people out there living with Diabetes and one of the things we want to get out there is that Diabetes Tasmania is here to help.”

More than $44,000 was raised during the ride, with more community donations still coming in.

“One of the really generous things is that we call into different communities and you have people coming up saying here’s $5 and that is really heartfelt and appreciated,” she said.

Diabetes ambassador and Liberal MP Guy Barnett, who has been supporting the charity ride since its inception in 2006, said more than $60,000 had been raised in 14 years.

“We’ve just been out there trying our best to stand up for people with Diabetes and trying to help them and their families,” he said.

Minister Barnett, who has type one diabetes, said the feedback from the community was “terrific.”

“It’s really tough sometimes for people with diabetes, whether it be type one or type two, there’s lots of challenges and we just try to give them hope and a future,” he said.

This year’s event saw Invictus Games swimmer and powerlifter Jarrod Kent get behind the cause.

“Jarrod’s an inspiration for me – he says that you can just keep on keeping on and is a wonderful role model,” Minister Barnett said.

Mr Kent said he was motivated to inspire hope to those people living with diabetes.

“I believe all of us on the face of the planet have at one point been broken in some way, shape or form – whether it’s mentally, physically or emotionally,” he said.

“I just believe that we may be broken, but never beaten,”

To donate, phone 6215 9000 or visit the PolliePedal Everyday Hero page at www.everydayhero.com.au/event/polliepedal19.

Caption: Minister Guy Barnett with the Relay for Life team at Corumbene.