Pedalling For a Good Cause: Matt’s Tour de Kids Journey
We shine light on the remarkable achievement of Science Teacher Matthew White, who exchanged his traditional lab attire for a cycling ensemble, all in support of the cause to combat childhood illness. In this story, Matt shares his motivations, favourite cycling routes and reveals whether he was able to complete 1000 kilometres in 30 days.
Tell us about Tour de Kids and what it represents to you.
Tour de Kids is a charity ride that runs through September and raises money for the Starlight foundation. The Starlight foundation is an organisation that improves the lives of sick kids and their families who are going through serious and sometimes terminal illnesses. My goal was to ride 1000km over the month and hopefully raise a dollar for each kilometre I managed to complete.
From a personal point of view, the Starlight foundation has meaning to me because when I was an infant I had croup, which is a nasty respiratory infection. As my parents were living in the country town of Narembeen, the Royal Flying Doctor was on call to bring me to Perth if my condition got any worse. When I speak to my mother about it, she recalls how overwhelming that situation was for her and how having that support from a charity can make a huge difference. I also think as a role model at Santa Maria College it’s important to practice what we preach and showcase that service should be a lifelong goal.
Is this your first Tour de Kids Challenge?
Absolutely! I’ve never been a massive bike rider and so this was a huge undertaking for me. The number of kilometres I had planned to travel meant I would need to ride an hour before and after work, and then an additional 70km over the weekend. Needless to say, the amount of cushioning that needed to be added to my bike went up considerably as the weeks went on.
What did you hope to achieve by participating in this fundraiser?
For every $25.00 raised the starlight foundation is able to support one child going through treatment in hospital. Working as a teacher you end up with a lot of empathy for the students you teach and therefore, you’d like to know that there are organisations there to support them if they were to go through a tough time.
Where is your favourite place to bicycle ride and why?
Heading back towards the city from Cottesloe with the sun setting behind me and the wind pushing me along was definitely some of the more enjoyable rides that I was able to have.
Tell us about your experience, did you meet your goal?
With a big 102km ride on the last day of September that included a 4.00 am start, magpies swooping, multiple crashes and a headwind that seemed to defy logic and follow me no matter which direction I was heading, I did manage to cross over the 1000km mark raising $1033 in the process. Hopefully I’m able to improve on that even further next year.
We thank you for sharing this heart-warming story Matt, and applaud your generosity and determination.