Pollies pedal for our veterans

Pollies pedal for our veterans

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Member for Canning Andrew Hastie, Warrant Officer Shane Moyle and Colonel Rhogan Aitken, Member for Burt Matt Keogh at the Pollie Pedal launch at Kings Park War Memorial. Photograph – Richard Polden.

 

Your local members are set to don their lycra in an effort to raise funds for special forces veterans and their families.

For the first time in its 24-year history, Pollie Pedal will tour the west after Member for Canning and avid cyclist Andrew Hastie MP petitioned for the move cross-country.

Mr Hastie said he was “thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our great state”.

“I first moved to Perth in 2010 after being selected to serve with the Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) and have called WA home since,” Mr Hastie said.

“I got into cycling due to some of my post service injuries and realised cycling is a great team sport and offers an opportunity to connect – which is what Pollie Pedal is all about.”

The Shadow Defence Minister officially launched the ride last Friday alongside event co-captain Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor MP and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Member for Burt Matt Keogh MP, and announced veterans’ charity Wandering Warriors as this year’s beneficiary.

Wandering Warriors Chief Executive Dan Parker said he was “humbled” his charity was chosen.

“We’re looking to give back to the veteran community in the midst of a challenging time for them – on the back of a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and an ongoing investigation into actions in Afghanistan,” Mr Parker said.

He said it was a difficult transition from service to civilian life for many veterans, and Wandering Warriors helps to support that challenge through “identity and repurpose”.

“We’re hoping Pollie Pedal will raise awareness in the community with employers who might want to hire a veteran, or businesses who could donate to scholarships and pro bono education efforts,” he said.

To date, Pollie Pedal has covered over 23,000km and raised over $7 million for charities including Ronald McDonald House, The Royal Flying Doctor Service and Carers Australia.

The charity bike ride is the brainchild of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott who will once again re-tyre for this year’s ride as the event’s patron.

The other 2023 pelotons will be made up of ADF veterans, cycling enthusiasts, and both sitting and former politicians.

Close to 50 cyclists will gear up for the ride from the Perth War Memorial and cycle over 1000km through the south west region from 7-14 October.

The riders’ exact route from Kings Park to Margaret River is still being finalised, but Examiner Newspapers has been advised there will be an announcement closer to the date and Canning electorate locals will get a chance to view and meet the riders en route.