Monday 19 November 2012
Cyclists take over EastLink to help
break the cycle of homelessness
6,500 cyclists took over the EastLink motorway on Sunday for the Hanover ConnectEast Ride for Home all with one purpose in mind, to help break the cycle of homelessness.
The traffic-free experience gave cyclists the once-a-year opportunity to ride non-stop on a world-class surface, including trips through both the Mullum Mullum and Melba tunnels – and in the process, organisers expect the event to raise over $320,000 for Hanover Welfare Services.
Australian cycling champion and Tour de France stage winner Simon Gerrans, five-time Olympic basketball representative Andrew Gaze (pictured attached), and the Victorian Institute of Sport women’s cycling team were amongst the peloton, joining cyclists of all ages and abilities in the 75km, 35km and 15km events.
In just its third year and already one of Australia’s premier recreational rides, cyclists set off from Ringwood Bypass in Melbourne’s east on a completely closed EastLink motorway from Ringwood towards Frankston and back.
With over 20,000 Victorians homeless each night, funds raised help support Hanover, one of Australia’s leading welfare agencies, to provide vital support to Victorians experiencing homelessness, including families and children.
Hanover CEO Tony Keenan thanked the thousands of riders and all who had helped them fundraise for the event.
“A huge thank you to all of them, this will make a huge difference as we continue Hanover’s work to ‘break the cycle of homelessness'," Mr Keenan said.
“This year we were aiming to surpass last year’s fundraising total of $320,000 and thanks to the efforts of everyone cycling out here today, and their generous families, friends and colleagues, we’re well on our way to reaching this target.”
Event fundraising remains open until Friday 14 December via www.RideforHome.com.au
“Homelessness affects children, young people, families, men and women of all ages. Hanover provides housing and support to over 6,500 Victorians every year, including 2,500 children. To continue to do this, we rely on the support of patrons, donations from members of the public, and revenue generated by fundraising events such as the Hanover ConnectEast Ride for Home,” Mr Keenan added.
ConnectEast, the owner and operator of EastLink, agreed to close the motorway and forego tolls as the major partner of the event and the worthy cause.
“We’re delighted to see so many teams, individuals and families out on their bikes in Melbourne’s east to support this event and cause,” said Dennis Cliche, Managing Director of ConnectEast.
“ConnectEast would also like to thank Melbourne’s motorists for their cooperation and understanding during the closure of EastLink on Sunday morning.”
Amongst the 6,500-strong participants were members of the Hanover client team, a group of riders of various ages and backgrounds who have all been recipients of Hanover’s services. Supported by VicHealth, all members received bikes and training in the lead up to the event.
"With the generous support of VicHealth, over 15 clients from Hanover's services who have been training for the ride joined the thousands out riding, enjoying a great day out and improving their physical health at the same time," Mr Keenan said.
- Ends –
For further information (media only), or to request interviews, please contact the Hanover ConnectEast media team. Further high resolutions photos are also available on request.
David Culbert – Jump Media & Marketing
03 9822 7110 or 0417 272 641 or David@jumpmedia.com.au
Taryn Kirby – Jump Media & Marketing
03 9822 7110 or 0433 665 055 or Taryn@jumpmedia.com.au