Tough ride for good cause
IF YOU were up early enough, you may have seen the Year 12 boys from St Edmund's College riding through Ipswich.
The group of 16 have been in training for the challenging bike ride which will symbolise their leaving the school for the last time.
The Skool 2 Skoolies ride has been an "Eddie's" tradition since it started in 2003 and sees students cycle from the school to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
Skool 2 Skoolies co-ordinator Emma Hatchett said the boys recently presented three local charities with funds raised leading up to the ride.
"Since the first year of the ride there has been many thousands of dollars raised by the students of St Edmund's and this year is no exception," she said.
"This has only been possible by the generous support of many local Ipswich businesses, which has allowed us to provide financial assistance for the wonderful work of Ipswich Hospice, St Vincent de Paul Society and The Christian Brothers in East Timor.
"We want our boys to finish school strong and do something for others at the end of Year 12.
"Our motto is, Eddie's men, strong men, gentlemen..."
Physical education teacher Michael Podolak has been helping the riders train since term two.
"It's a 115km ride that will take about four hours," he said.
"We start by training two afternoons a week with riders doing about 30 to 40kms per session.
"Then we switch to mornings and ride for one to two hours."
Ms Hatchett said training for the ride was tough.
"To take part in Skool 2 Skoolies requires dedication and resilience," she said.
"Dedication in the way that you need to earn your spot. To be considered eligible to ride you have to have raised at least $400 each in sponsorship and cycled over 400 kms.
"You also need to pick yourself back up, hold your head high and keep going."