Virtual racing charity event hits the Hunter

Virtual racing charity event hits the Hunter

With COVID-19 decimating the charity event fundraising potential for many charities, local people have begun working together to find solutions.

A group of Hunter business and community sport advocates have banded together to offer the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS) some financial hope.

Local triathlon coach, Pete Hodgson of Just Dig Deeper Tri Coaching, developed a series of events to suit all levels and called it the AW139 Ultra for Everyone.

The virtual event will offer participants the opportunity to complete a range of swimming, cycling, running or full triathlon challenges, over the month of June.

The event hopes to raise over $30,000 and promote the AW139 Helicopters, which are out there saving lives every day. To achieve this, every option within the eight challenges, are structured around the number 139.

Event spokesperson, Paul Humphreys of local multisport event company H Events, said the idea for the event came together quickly with a deep appreciation for the WRHS being a major drive behind their decision to put things together.

“I was approached by some very passionate Helicopter Service supporters who had a great idea for an event which highlights that the service the WRHS provides is free but comes with substantial costs,” Paul said.

“After much discussion with our team we have moulded the idea into an event that gives participants of all fitness levels the opportunity to be involved in a structured Virtual Race environment.”

To participate in this Virtual Event, participants just enter, select their discipline/s and then complete the tasks either weekly or monthly. This includes swimming, cycling (on road or mountain bike), running / walking or triathlon, in short or long combinations of the number 139.

Participants will be able to log their completed tasks on the results page and include maps and pictures they would like to share with other participants.

Those completing the distances will receive a finishers certificate and be in the running for a pool of great prizes. These include helicopter rides, cycling kits, entry vouchers and much more.

But Paul has been quick to remind people that whilst the racing part of the event is virtual, getting out to do the challenge is also part of the deal.

“It’s only the racing that is virtual, not the task! Participants do have to physically complete the challenge they select, so people need to make sure they read the rules, complete the tasks and log their distances,” he said.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter CEO, Richard Jones OAM, said with all face to face fundraising and major event activity on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporters have had to think outside of the square in order to help the Service through this period.

“We are very conscious that everyone in the community is being challenged by the current health crisis but we are extremely grateful for groups, such as Kari’s, who continue to rally to support the Service even when facing their own difficulties,” Richard said.

“We wish them every success with the event and encourage everyone to register and get involved by walking, running, swimming or cycling for the Service,” he concluded.

The event will start on Monday 1 June 2020 and finish on Sunday 28 June 2020.

All challenge activities will need to be logged during this time.

To register and more about the eight different events you can participate in, check out the H Events website.

IMAGE | AW139 Event launch photo

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service

Since 1975 the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has grown from a part-time voluntary summer beach patrol to world-class aeromedical search and rescue operation.

No one has ever paid to be assisted by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. That is because their fellow citizens and the NSW Government through NSW Health and the Ambulance Service of NSW provide the funds that ensure the rescue helicopters are there when and where they are needed.

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