Local biker riders are getting into shape for this year's annual bikeathon to raise funds for Central Gippsland Health Service.
Funds from the 21st annual event late last year have been used by CGHS to purchase an Apnoea Monitor for the Women’s and Children’s Unit and a dialysis chair for the Dialysis Unit at the Sale hospital.
One of the organisers of the event, Shirley Mowat, said the event raised $15,000.
The last bike relay attracted 21 teams of riders, most of whom completed the trip from Sale to Lake Tyers and return. "People of all ages participate and have great fun while raising money for a good cause," Mrs Mowat said.
The team from Southern Rural Water at Maffra raised the largest amount of $2000.
SRW rider Colin McQuillen has completed the ride for the last four years however the organisation has been entering a team for eight years.
“It is a fantastic experience,” Mr McQuillen said. “And it’s for a great cause as the hospital has touched everyone’s lives in some way.
“Our cycling team has grown. Last year we had eight riders and this year we hope to have 12. They include novice and experienced riders. We plan to beat last year’s total raised.
“We are the only corporate team that takes part so I’d like to throw out a challenge to other corporates to join in.”
CGHS chief executive, Dr Frank Evans, praised the efforts of everyone who took part or helped with the event. “It is wonderful to see people in the community coming together like this to raise funds for us,” Dr Evans said. “Some of our staff also took part too and had a great experience.
“We can’t thank everyone enough and look forward to this year’s event.”
Riders stay at the Lake Tyers Caravan and Camping Park with the entry fee cost of $85 for adults and $55 for students. Staff from the hospital kitchen organise meals for the participants.
This year's event is on the weekend of November 8 and 9. For more details contact either Shirley Mowat on 0488 045484, Edward Pickering on 5143 2230 or Colin McQuillen on 0400 174700.