L-R: Andrew Jeffreys, Fiona Henderson, Bronwen Evans, David Findlay, Liz Findlay, Patrick Tobin, Alison Drewry, John Clifford, Chris Haw and Phong Tran in front of Sigriya Rock.
A dedicated team of doctors and associates of Western Health recently undertook an epic 325km cycle challenge across Sri Lanka raising a total of $18,592 in support of Western Health.
This is the fifth year the group have come together to raise funds for Western Health with previous cycle challenges taking them to Thailand, New Zealand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Fiona Henderson from Victoria University, together with her husband Andrew Jeffreys (Clinical Services Director Perioperative & Critical Care Services at Western Health), have been involved with the cycling group since its inception.
"Andrew and I have been participating in the Western Health Cycle Challenge since 2014," says Fiona. "It is where Andrew works and with whom my employer has a strong relationship. It seemed a no brainer to be doing what we love while also assisting our local hospital."
"We love the small group camaraderie and the opportunity to cycle through less visited places. There is always a local guide leading us and their keenness to show off their country and culture is infectious."
Throughout their 7 day tour of Sri Lanka, the group cycled through local villages, visiting cultural attractions along the way and sampling local delicacies. The group were continuously amazed by the abundance of local wildlife they encountered every day including Long-tailed macaques, Gibbons, Samba Deer, squirrels and elephants. A member of the group even spotted a leopard, but unfortunately weren't quick enough to get a photo.
"One of the highlights of the tour for me was a rather exciting encounter with an elephant that crossed the road in front of our van. There was so much wildlife to see. It was amazing."
Together the group have raised $18,592 in support of Western Health, bringing the total raised over the last five years to over $100,000.
Plans are already underway for next year's ride with Japan or Taiwan possible destinations. The group welcomes anyone who is interested to join them.
"We welcome anyone who is interested in riding with us," says Fiona. "The only commitment is that you need to raise or donate $1000 towards Western Health while covering your own expenses."
For more information on the Western Health Cycle Challenge contact Danny Crabb from Western Health Foundation on 8345 7663 or email [email protected].