Riders at this year's Ride for Life charity race will be asked to donate half their entry fee to members of the AIS women's team involved in Tuesday's horrific accident. The decision was made as Trust, the event's major sponsor, and the network of smaller sponsors passed the organising committee's plans for monies to be donated as a means of assisting the five women with their rehabilitation.
These same sponsors will then donate half their sponsorship funds to the cause in what will be a massive display of solidarity by all members of the cycling community, with over 800 riders expected to participate in this year's event. This gesture is particularly pertinent as Kate Nichols, involved in the crash in Germany, raced exceptionally well in the Sydney event last year with her father Kevin. Head of the Medical Oncology Department at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Professor Michael Friedlander, who was instrumental in arranging the donation said that "it is the least that we can do."
Prominent riders such as Ben Kersten and Athens Olympic gold medallist Steven Wooldridge believe the decision is definitely the right one, with Wooldridge having recently experienced the high level of medical care offered in Germany after a fall during racing in France. He said "it's a wonderful gesture from Professor Friedlander and I am sure that the girls will appreciate whatever help they can receive." Commenting further on the impact of the accident, Wooldridge said "it's been a devastating time for our sport - we have already lost a very special person in Amy and the other girls will have a tough time ahead."
The day doesn't lose its focus on cancer survivorship, however, as cyclists will dedicate their ride to loved ones and friends who have fought the battle with cancer by wearing 'I'm a Survivor', 'To Honour' or 'In Memory of' tags. 'Ride for Life' orange silicon bracelets are also available to support the cause at most bicycle shops and at the event. For details on the day's programme, or for application forms visit www.rideforlife.org.au or contact (02) 9382 2589.