Ride4Repat passes through Naracoorte

THERE was "only" 360km to go out of a 930km ride for a group of 15 cyclists leaving Naracoorte last Thursday morning.

Participating in the second instalment of the Ride4Repat ride, the group were met with favourable conditions as they travelled down the coast to Mount Gambier and then back up the highway according to ride director Peter Jenkin.

"It's been fantastic, we had tail winds all the way down," he said. "Then the wind changed and we had a northerly when we left Mount Gambier."

Ride4Repat is 930km of riding, tackled head-on by dedicated riders and supporters of the Repat Foundation and Daw House Hospice Foundation. 

It raises funds for both the foundation and the hospice.

The ride is the brainchild of nurse Mr Jenkin and was first run in 2012.

"I founded it because I wanted to make a difference," he said.

"I did my training at the Repat and have worked with the Daw House Hospice in my later career. I'm inspired by the work of both charitable foundations."

Ex-serviceman Mark Reidy was also along for his second ride, honouring the memory of his friend Mathew Locke, who was killed in action in Afghanistan.

"I have many friends who have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and are also wounded," he said. 

"I dedicate my ride to the Repat Foundation, to raise funds for research and increase awareness of this debilitating condition in today's veterans."

Along the way riders met and spoke with local groups such as Lions and Scouts to promote the work of the organisations.

The ride left from the well-known Repatriation Hospital on March 30 and headed to Mount Gambier where the hospital's orthotics and prosthetics unit has a clinic. 

The riders returned to a welcome home reception at the hospital on Saturday.

CEO of the Daw House Hospice Foundation Leanne Tripodi said the foundation was grateful for the support of the riders.

"Their dedication will allow us to create a special memorial garden space, featuring a tree of life sculpture," she said. 

"We are pleased that we will be able to help families in their grieving through this sculpture."

Repat Foundation's CEO Jan Chorley also acknowledged the dedication of the riders.

"We are delighted, through the Ride4Repat, to have the chance to direct extra funds to the Orthotics and Prosthetics SA section at the hospital," Jan said. 

"This of course, will also help the clinic based in Mount Gambier. The special technology and equipment we can help provide will lead to faster recovery for injured veterans."

Last time the ride raised over $50,000, while this time $26,000 had been raised online alone by last Thursday.

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