CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: St Edmund's students and staff (front, from left), Lachlan Wood, Bailey Johnson, Isaac Poole and coordinator Michael Podolak prepare for School to Schoolies, supported by Cr Andrew Antoniolli, Jason O'Halloran, Travis Eddie, Steve Mallet, Keaton Evans and school principal Chris Leadbetter.
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: St Edmund's students and staff (front, from left), Lachlan Wood, Bailey Johnson, Isaac Poole and coordinator Michael Podolak prepare for School to Schoolies, supported by Cr Andrew Antoniolli, Jason O'Halloran, Travis Eddie, Steve Mallet, Keaton Evans and school principal Chris Leadbetter. David Nielsen

Pedal power gets Year 12s to schoolies party

A TOUGH test of endurance awaits a handful of St Edmund's College graduates before they get their schoolies' party started - and we're not talking about their end of year exams.

A committed group of about 18 students has already started training for the annual School to Schoolies fundraiser - a 115km bike ride from the front gate of the Ipswich school to the heart of Surfers Paradise.

As well as keeping the lads fighting fit, the challenge also raises important funds for Ipswich Hospice, St Vincent de Paul and the Christian Brothers' emersion programs which aid education in poor countries.

Ride coordinator Michael Podolak said the young riders were already covering about 70km a week in their training and would steadily ramp up the k's as the big day draws closer.

"We'll ride wherever it is safe - places like Evan Marginson Park out near the RAAF Base, and behind the Bundamba industrial estate," Mr Podolak said.

"We will ramp it up to about 100km a week as we start to get more daylight."

With a handful of local sponsors, the fundraising figure has already exceded $20,000.

For information on how to donate, phone Emma Hatchett on 3810 4495.



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