Cycling 300 kilometres in a single day is not easy, but some dedicated riders are about to go the distance for autism.
The V1 Cyclery BMD ACE 300 charity ride will be held on Sunday, April 24, to raise awareness about autism and to support vital research and learning programs at Griffith University’s Autism Centre of Excellence.
This Saturday, April 2, is World Autism Awareness Day.
ACE 300 race director and founder Glenn Williams is urging the public to sponsor the cyclists who will ride from Wellington Point to the Sunshine Coast and back.
“Autism Spectrum Disorder affects thousands of families across Australia, but receives less than 5 per cent of research funding,” says Glenn, whose 10-year-old son Mitchell was just four when diagnosed with autism.
Like most boys his age, Mitchell loves riding, climbing and swimming.
“However, he still has very limited verbal communication skills and consequently finds many day-to-day activities quite challenging, particularly activities that involve large groups of people.
“We have been blessed with the help and support of friends, family and teachers, including the Autism Centre of Excellence, and that’s why this bike ride is so important.
“Sponsoring a rider, providing corporate support or organising fundraising events with your friends, workmates and the community can really make a difference.”
Centre director Professor Jacqui Roberts says continued research and learning programs are vital for helping people with autism throughout their lives.
“Our work is focused on improving quality of life, opening doors of opportunity from early childhood to further education and into employment,” she said.
Donations raised in previous rides have funded research projects and initiatives including specialised training for parents to maximise their ability to advocate effectively for their child’s education.
Glenn Williams is available for interview on 0488 085 443 and 1300 433 364