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Royal Far West Celebrates its 10th Ride for Country Kids on the Sapphire Coast

A decade of raising awareness and vital funds to support country kids access vital developmental, behavioural and mental health services.

This week we celebrated our 10th Ride for Country Kids, with 50 riders covering over 330km and raising $350,000 for country children. The funds will go towards vital health and developmental services in rural and remote communities, to help transform the lives of Australia’s country kids.

The event route took riders from coast to country through the amazing scenery and wonderful communities of the Sapphire Coast, starting in Merimbula, and visiting Eden, Wyndham, Bega, and Tathra before finishing in Cobargo.

ceremonial ribbon cutting

On Sunday morning, Russell Fitzpatrick, Bega Valley Shire Mayor, and Jacqueline Emery, Royal Far West (RFW) CEO, did the honours cutting the ribbon and waving the riders off on their journey. After three-days of cycling the riders were welcomed to the finish line at Cobargo Primary School, with an excited group of year five and six students welcoming them and joining the riders for a final lap around the school.

Jacqueline Emery, celebrated the riders’ achievements in helping to make a difference to the lives of country children and families.

“We are so proud of our team of dedicated riders. They have been busy not only training, but also raising funds and awareness for the work we do at RFW for months. It’s a huge achievement and we are so thankful for their support. These funds will help provide important health services to country communities who need it most.”

“Children in rural communities are twice as likely to be developmentally vulnerable than city children, but the support is not always there. Country communities have limited access to allied health care, they are facing waiting lists that extend into years, long distances to travel for help – and on top of this they have been impacted by countless natural disasters.”

“We aim to bridge this gap and help families access the early intervention they need to help improve their child’s life trajectory.”

Jacqueline Emery, RFW CEO

Graeme laughing

Local rider Graeme Andrews, from Millingandi, said it was a tough ride, but worth it knowing every kilometre was making a difference to communities like the one he calls home.

“It’s been a huge three days, but it was worth it because we knew we were riding in support of RFW’s work supporting country children and families.”

“I live locally, and it surprised me hearing from the school principals, local parents and RFW’s team about just how challenging it can be to access services here. It’s also inspiring to see the resilience in the community after the bushfires, and how RFW played an important role in supporting the children and the people around them in the recovery of this.”

RFW and its team of multidisciplinary clinicians have been working in primary schools and preschools across the Bega region, supporting thousands of children, parents, and teachers within the community.

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Donations to the event are still open. You can help make a difference to the future of Australia’s country children today, visit: www.rideforcountrykids.com.au

Ride for Country Kids 2024 Highlights

We ride to raise funds, we ride to show our support to resilient communities and we ride for healthy country kids! 

In this video, you’ll witness the highlights of our journey from Merimbula to Cobargo, including heartwarming moments at local schools and communities along the way. Watch as we reflect on an incredible journey across the Sapphire Coast, where dedicated riders covered 330 kilometres over three days in support of rural children and families. This year marks our 10th anniversary of riding to make a difference in the lives of country kids. Our event this year took place from Sunday, 17 March to Tuesday, 19 March, and visited towns affected by the devastating 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires.