By Kristy Gogolka
Every October, Boulia Shire Mayor Rick Britton saddles up for the Great Cycle Challenge to Fight Kids’ Cancer, a novel way for people to be more active while they raise funds to help young people in their cancer battles.
Until just a decade ago, Mayor Britton had never used a bike for exercise, and it wasn’t until the ‘healthy’ competition between Boulia and Diamantina Shire took place he thought this was a great way to exercise.
“I was only on the bike for 10 minutes and did that each day for six weeks before I stepped it up to 20 minutes; now I do 30 minutes each day,” Mayor Britton said.
Boulia Shire, in the state’s central-west, is not only affected by the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 – the region is still drought-declared. Mayor Britton might be time poor but believes it important that we look after our mental and physical health.
“I have a very busy life, so I wanted to show people that, even with a busy life, you can still make time for exercising and being able to look after yourself,” Mayor Britton said.
Despite his ‘veteran’ status in the Great Cycle Challenge, 2021 is already Mayor Britton’s most successful in terms of funds raised. His target was $1,000 and to ride 400 kilometres but, when we spoke last week, he had already raised $3,000 and covered more than 460 kilometres. As a result, he is vowing to keep riding for the rest of the month to see how far he can go – and how much more he can raise to support kids with cancer.
Mayor Britton’s takeaway message for his community is ‘a batter needs to only make one run to make a start’.
“We all have to learn how to crawl first before we can start walking,” Mayor Britton said.
In other words, you don’t need all the bells and whistles, just need to start somewhere.
And keep it going.
So, throughout this October – and likely quite a few to come – be sure to keep an eye out for Mayor Britton’s progress in his Twitter and LinkedIn posts. And, of course, be sure to support and encourage him every step of the way.