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Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton and business owner Phil Dean have almost finished a marathon 180km bike ride from the mountains to the sea for men’s health.
Broughton and Dean, the owner of Robert Harris Café in Rolleston, started cycling across Selwyn from Arthur’s Pass to Taumutu on the shores of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere to raise awareness of men’s health on November 9. They should reach their destination today.
Their journey took them from the Arthur’s Pass National Park past the majestic limestone formations at Kura Tawhiti/Castle Hill, across the patchwork of Selwyn’s farming heartland to the shores of the Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, the home of Te Taumutu Rūnanga.
Broughton says men’s heath is in a difficult place, with men dying on average six years earlier than women. “And that’s largely for preventable reasons." he says.
"Men simply don’t go to the doctor as often as women - this challenge is about raising awareness of the issues that men should be thinking about and showing that taking regular exercise can be fun as well as lifesaving."Broughton also wants to encourage men to understand the health challenges that they might face and to encourage them reach out for help.
"Prostate and testicular cancer are key issues facing all men, but mental health has a huge impact on young men in our community.
"Mental health is not just about sufferers reaching out - it’s about mates and others pitching in and asking if things are okay.”The cycle challenge links to Movember to promote awareness of men’s health issues and encourage men to live healthy and fulfilling lives.
“We all make lifestyle choices and it’s those choices that can make a huge difference in how we go, eating well, drinking less and getting out there are the key ingredients in keeping in good mental and physical shape," Broughton said.
Said Dean who is sponsoring the event. “I’m delighted to be able to support this event and even more thrilled to be taking part."
The pair are also keen to promote alternative transport so have decided to cover the distance using electric bikes.
"Investing in Selwyn’s cycle ways is a fundamental part of our plan. We’re making the connections between our towns safer and more accessible, so that people can ditch the car and take their bike to work or play," Broughton said
"Good for you and good for the environment."
They are also joining forces with a seven-man team from Selwyn District Council who are taking part in Movember. You can donate here.