Thanks for Supporting such a Great Cause!
On the 1st October 2011 Stuart Ball founder of The Great Australian Ride rode his KTM990 Adventure motorcycle solo across Australia. Raising over $5,000 for The Children's Health Foundation in Brisbane to help work wonders for sick kids. Starting in Byron Bay, the eastern most point of Australia and riding unassisted through The Simpson and Gibson Deserts to reach his end goal, Steep Point in WA, the western most point of Australia. Stuart then turned around and headed back home to Maryborough.
It started as an adventure, a desire to see what was really out there. After returning from last year’s solo ride I was unsure what the next step would be, I had to let the dust settle.
Thankfully through the power of the Internet I connected with some local and national motorcyclist who were also passionate about raising funds for charities and interested in forming a group ride from east to west. And so Team GAR (Great Australian Ride) was born, From Brisbane, Mr Christian Loghem’s commitment and enthusiasm were true strengths and he directed them to the media and organizing of the event. TV, radio, and newspapers across the country were contacted to bring awareness to Sids and Kids and our coming ride. Then from Bendigo, Mr Mark Victor brought the ride to another level with his fantastic digital artwork and web design skills. Drawing a large international audience and helping to showcase Australia as a premiere adventure riding destination. I was truly overwhelmed by the support and kind nature of all the team’s new members. We set about to form the networks, the website would handle donations and provide all necessary information to our riders and supporters. 100% of funds raised would go directly to Sids and Kids, who receive no government funding and rely on public donations. SIDS and Kids is dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and supporting bereaved families. And so with the power of duplication in mind I invited 12 riders to ride with me from Byron Bay (most eastern point) through The Simpson Desert to Alice Springs then 1200km across The Gibson Desert to Steep Point (most western point). Thinking that no one would be crazy enough to respond to such a grueling ride, I posted out the request. And they did! In no time at all we had our 12 riders (The Dirty Dozen) a medic and a well-equipped support vehicle. Then the donation started coming in and within 3 months up to the date we left Byron, Saturday 4th August, Team GAR had raised over $20,000 for Sids.
Through all the great help and support this ride has now become an annual charity event. This year we raised over $25,000!. Huge thanks goes out to all those who donated, we are overwhelmed by your generosity. Big thanks to our major sponsor National Storage, was provided us with a base in Perth to store and dispatch our bikes. Also Bikerbits, Teammoto and Barkbusters who all provided great support and advice. I am looking forward to the future of The Great Australian Ride, the people that we will meet and the friendships that will develop across Australia. It's sure to be an epic adventure!
Happy Travels, Stuart Ball
SIDS and Kids Queensland Inc
SIDS and Kids Queensland provide bereavement and support services to families and anyone that has been affected by the sudden and unexpected death of a baby from pregnancy to early childhood.
Additionally we provide education into communities throughout Queensland on safe sleeping, facilitate support groups, provide advocacy on behalf of parents and lifesaving research into SIDS.