Mike Jeffs, a keen amateur cyclist and businessman from Queensland, is set to take on the adventure of his life, cycling all the way across Australia to see children released from poverty.
The journey will be even more special because his grandson, Elijah, will be riding beside him.
“This is an amazing adventure opportunity for a grandfather and grandson to undertake together,” says Mike. “I’m very thankful we are in such a fortunate situation to do it. The ride this year coincides with my 70th birthday and Elijah’s 20th, so there is exactly a 50-year age gap between us.”
Mike and Elijah are part of a team of cyclists riding a gruelling 4,181 kilometres across Australia, including the rugged terrain of the Nullarbor. In partnership with Compassion Australia, one of Australia’s largest not-for-profits, the riders are raising money to help children around the world who live in poverty.
Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast 2021 will start in Perth, WA, on 18 September 2021 and finish in Newcastle, NSW, on 20 October 2021.
“The team of cyclists and volunteers are in the final stages of training and preparation,” said Compassion Australia Relationship Manager and participating cyclist, Rodney Olsen. “It can often be a real sacrifice to schedule training while still juggling family, work and other commitments. Riders will need to ride around 1,000 kilometres a week during the ride, so training is pretty intense.
“To see so many riders passionate about the cause—and to be supported by churches and individuals across the country—has been so encouraging. Together, we can make a huge difference in these children’s lives.”
This passion is needed now more than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world’s poor particularly hard, with global poverty rates rising for the first time in decades. The team is aiming to raise $600,000 for vulnerable children, including those affected by the pandemic, and see 150 children around the world sponsored through Compassion Australia.
Mike says that when he asked his grandson to come on the ride, Elijah soon said yes.
“Elijah loves the outdoors and is a natural athlete, so I simply asked him to do it with me. After a lot of thought, he committed to it. We’re both very excited to partake in this adventure of a lifetime.”
“Hopefully our story will have a positive impact in both raising funds and awareness for the Compassion cause,” says Mike. “At the same time, we want to inspire others to have an adventurous spirit. You are never too old—or too young—to support and care for others.”
You too can lend your support to this epic ride for an epic cause by donating to Mike and Elijah’s ride on their campaign page.
You can also support the Ride for Compassion through product donations, or by donating directly to rideforcompassion.com. To learn more about these opportunities, please contact Rodney Olsen on 0412 177 307.