A three day charity bike ride across western NSW later this year will aim to shine a light on the important role mental and physical health plays in managing stress in rural communities.
The Ride for Resilience event is being organised by Active Farmers from 15-17 September 2019.
Over 480 kilometres the bike riders will travel from Forbes, to Young and Temora before finishing in Mangoplah.
Active Farmers founder, Ginny Stevens, is hoping the event will highlight the importance for farming communities to invest in the physical and mental health of their residents.
"It's important to encourage and create opportunities for people to come together, to share and invest in maintaining their health, so they're better able to sustain their families and businesses in tough times."
Ginny said the Ride for Resilience aims to capture the spirit of the farming communities in and around the Active Farmers network, many of whom have endured the crippling conditions of drought and flood in recent years.
"Although farmlands in some areas are beginning to recover with recent rains, many aren't and there is still a long way to go before communities, families and businesses are back on track," she said.
The Ride for Resilience event is a major fundraiser for Active Farmers charity.
The organisation provides fitness classes, mental health services and health workshops in farming communities and aims to foster social interaction, build community connectedness and resilience.
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Ginny said Active Farmers currenty has a network of over 30 group fitness classes, run by a team of 26 personal trainers that extends through almost every state of Australia and is growing.
"We hope to expand to 70 communities by 2020, but we will need help to achieve that," she explained.
Riders are being asked to raise $1500 each to donate towards the costs of running the fitness classes, in addition to the entry fee which covers the event logistics.
Irrigation farmer Rob Houghton, Leeton has already signed up for the ride.
"I'm a big believer in having a healthy mind and body to support making sound business decisions," he said.
"In terms of resilience, I think that maintaining good health provides a solid foundation for managing challenges."
Cycling event management company Entoure will be coordinating the ride, with founder and director Kent Williams supporting Active Farmers.
Registrations are now open, and enquiries are encouraged at www.activefarmers.com.au