Schoolies charity tradition rides on for St Eddies pupils
MOTORISTS travelling along the Pacific Highway on their way to the Gold Coast yesterday would have noticed a group of 15 young cyclists.
While they would have admired their athletic prowess they would not have known about the true significance of this journey.
The lads are all from St Edmund's College, Ipswich and their ride carries on a tradition established 12 years ago.
In 2003 one St Eddy's student promised a schoolmate battling cancer that he would ride to the Gold Coast to help raise funds for local cancer support groups.
He carried out that promise and now every year his ride is the inspiration for others to do the same. St Edmund's College principal Chris Leadbetter said the 15 youngsters had trained all year for their 115km journey.
"With the great support of local businesses these boys will bring in more than $20,000 for local charities," he said.
"What a great way to finish college to show just how much your respect your community."
One of the riders had a special reason to take on the challenge following his father's death from cancer earlier this year.
"The Ipswich Hospice is one of the charities that will benefit from this ride and they helped my father in the last few weeks of his life," Harrison Cochrane said.
The charity ride is called Skool to Skoolies and each year as they ride out of the St Edmund's gates they are fittingly cheered by their fellow pupils.
They are riding into a new future, but at the same time they are revealing that compassion will play a big part in their lives.