OFTEN referred to as the men’s shed on wheels, the Sorrento Bay Riders and their cycling mates from around the Mornington Peninsula are leading the charge to raise money to support the Making a Difference programs at Victoria’s The Portsea Camp.
Led by philanthropist Max Beck, the riders will hit the road on Sunday 1 October for the annual Sorrento Bay Riders Portsea Camp Challenge.
The 65km for 65 children charity ride around some of peninsula’s most picturesque roads aims to raise $50,000 for inclusive wellness and camping programs, which work to build confidence, promote healthy bodies, healthy minds, and a positive sense of self, helping 65 young people to succeed. “Life’s about putting back,” Beck said.
“It is always a great feeling helping those in need, especially disadvantaged children. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of putting back into our communities, every person has capacity to help change a life.”
Since 1946, the Portsea Camp has been providing seaside holiday camps and outdoor programs for children from metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
One partnership which came as a direct result of the challenge was the that formed with Auscycling, the national sporting organisation responsible for the development, facilitation, and growth of all forms of cycling.
As part of Auscycling’s national roll out of AusBike, the Portsea Camp has registered to become an AusBike centre, the only one to date on the peninsula. The Gears program is designed for children 5 -12 to get them on their bikes, learn about road safety, build essential life skills, and have fun.
Camp CEO Sandra Martin said the importance of events like the Sorrento Bay Riders Portsea Camp Challenge and the support of the Beck family and others, ensured the camp could continue its valuable work to develop new programs and grow existing ones.
For more than 75 years, camp had invited tens of thousands of Australian children to enjoy and benefit from experience. Many returned, volunteering as adults or to re-live memories, standing at the flagpole casting an eye over the place that meant so much to them.
“It’s an important commitment to show all children coming to the camp the positive side of life, give them a belief of self-worth and confidence. That’s what the Portsea Camp is all about, helping kids grow, be happy, healthy, well and, above all, have fun,” Martin said.
As the Sorrento Bay Riders prepare to jump on their bikes for the Portsea Camp Challenge on Sunday 1 October, they urge members of the community to donate at bit.ly/portsea-camp