Hopes of making difference riding high

Photo by Leith Huffadine.
Photo by Leith Huffadine.

The ''Ride out of the Blue'' team is tackling a numbers challenge.

The 11 cyclists are riding the length of New Zealand to raise awareness of suicide and reduce the rate of suicides in the country.

They plan to ride about 110km every seven hour day, seven days a week, for 23 days to complete their Bluff to Cape Reinga odyssey.

Their supplies include 700 bananas to last the trip, which began in Bluff on October 11 and is expected to end on November 1.

The team hopes to raise $50,000 for the Mental Health Foundation Mindful Aotearoa programme.

Tamzin Hawkins, of Auckland, stopped to talk to the Otago Daily Times as the team passed through Tarras on their way from Clyde to Omarama yesterday.

She said two previous rides, in 2011 and 2012, raised about $30,000 and $46,000 respectively.

So far, this year's ride had raised about $17,000.

Another rider, Sally Smith, of Sandspit, near Warkworth, said everyone on the ride was concerned about suicide statistics in New Zealand.

''There are groups being set up to support people bereaved by suicide, but we are trying to stop it happening it at all.''

Otago Suicide Prevention Trust media spokesman Ian Kerrisk said the trust fully supported the ride.

''Given our recent high profile visits from Mike King and Sir John Kirwan to Central Otago, suicide prevention is still very much on people's minds, and this is just another way to ensure we continue to talk openly about preventing depression and suicide.''

Miss Hawkins said the group had received ''amazing'' support in the form of food, accommodation and travel costs.



Where to seek help

Lifeline: 0800 543 354

Depression helpline (8am-midnight): 0800 111 757

Healthline 0800 611 116

Youthline: 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.org.nz



Add a Comment