Tour de Kids is a gruelling challenge that began in 2001 when a group of men decided to combine their passion for cycling with a desire to help seriously ill children. Since then, they have generated support from all sorts of people who have travelled thousands of kilometres and raised very welcome money.
The first ride had 18 cyclists riding to Dubbo, followed by 17 cyclists to Thredbo; 28 from Melbourne to Sydney, over Mt Hotham; Melbourne to Canberra; Brisbane to Newcastle; and Hobart to Thredbo. This year, the ride was from Albury to Sydney.
Each rider is inspired to ride by the challenges facing a Starlight "wish child". Funds raised ensure that seriously ill children will be able to have their wish come true.
Supporting Tour de Kids this year was Olympic gold medal cyclist, Stephen Wooldridge and Warwick Waugh, the towering former Wallabies forward who hauled his 203cm, 125kg frame along the gruelling route.
Starlight Children's Foundation's mission is to brighten the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families throughout Australia. Fundraising is crucial as Starlight currently reaches just one in three of the 600,000 children admitted to hospitals in Australia every year.
Since 1988, Starlight's programs have been delivered in and out of hospital, providing positive distraction to children in their time of need. The programs aim to restore the fun, laughter and joy that serious illness takes away.
For children living in metropolitan areas, Starlight Express Rooms are found in Australia's major paediatric hospitals providing an entertainment haven where Captain Starlight helps children escape the stress and isolation of hospital life. The seven Starlight Express Rooms welcome more than 350,000 visitors each year.
The Starlight Express Van program ensures sick children in regional and remote areas of Australia can experience the fun and magic of Captain Starlight with visits to sick children at their bedsides as well as special schools. Seriously ill children living in remote and regional areas face enormous challenges such as extended periods away from home for treatment, emotional hardship and isolation from their peers and family.
The Starlight Express Van program is crucial to achieving Starlight's goal of reaching all seriously ill children and their families across Australia.
Tour de Kids fundraising challenge registration fee is $2000 per cyclist. It covers all travel and event costs and all funds raised go directly to Starlight and other chosen charities.
The next Tour de Kids fundraiser will be between March 28 to April 3, 2009 from Bundaberg to Byron Bay.
Prices correct at October 16, 2008.
For further information
Tour de Kids
The Starlight Children's Foundation
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