Why we ride
Country communities have had a tough couple of years - affected by relentless drought, devastating bushfires, floods, a mouse plague, and a global pandemic.
The impact of these disasters, coupled with the existing disadvantage of distance and availability of services, has seen the number of country kids in need of developmental and mental health services drastically increase.
This May, we're riding to connect country kids with complex, undiagnosed developmental and mental health needs to the critical assessments, services and support they need to thrive.
We aim to raise $300,000 to directly support the health and wellbeing of Australia's country kids.
Raised so far
Where we're headed in 2022!
From May 22-24, we'll be riding over 430km through breathtaking countryside whilst meeting some of the wonderful communities Royal Far West serves. The 2022 Ride will begin in Tamworth, and visit Armidale and Inverell before finishing in Deepwater, just outside Glen Innes.
Day 1: Tamworth (Bendemeer) to Armidale via Walcha & Uralla (145km / 1800m elevation)
Day 2: Armidale to Inverell via Bundarra & Copeton Dam (155km / 1670m elevation)
Day 3: Inverell to Glen Innes (Deepwater) via Emmaville (134km / 1750m elevation)
Note: Riders and bikes will be transported to and from the start and finish locations of Bendemeer and Deepwater.
Who we ride for
Oliver* experienced significant difficulties when he started school. He struggled with expressive language and sometimes could not communicate his needs, becoming distressed and frustrated when he couldn’t complete activities.
When Oliver was seven years old, he was referred to our Paediatric Developmental Program by his local GP. Here, Oliver was able to access comprehensive learning, speech and other key developmental assessments.
With input from local services, including their school, the family received a clear diagnosis, an understanding of Oliver’s needs, as well as recommendations on how to support him moving forward.
Our service has had a life-changing impact on the family. Oliver’s mum Rachel* reports that Oliver is much happier and is making progress at school, and she feels much more positive about her role and direction in supporting him.
* Names changed to protect client privacy
2022 Ride Ambassadors
Australian Tour de France cyclist Mark Renshaw grew up in Bathurst, regional NSW. He rode professionally between 2004 and 2019 and is perhaps most famous for his 1-2 finish on the final stage of the 2009 Tour de France with his teammate Mark Cavendish.
Mark joined the Ride for Country Kids as Ambassador in 2021 and is excited about coming back again in 2022.
Mark says: “Cycling is in my veins, and it’s great to be supporting Royal Far West to help kids in rural and remote areas, particularly when I get to saddle up and join a group of likeminded people, all of whom are keen to push themselves to support country kids.”