The world-leading research conducted at Griffith University’s Autism Centre of Excellence has been boosted thanks to a dedicated peloton of cyclists and the generosity of supporters.
The V1 Cyclery BMD ACE 300 Bike Ride raised almost $27,000 as cyclists rode 300 kilometres in a single day to support autism awareness and research.
Starting at Wellington Point, the 42 riders travelled to the Sunshine Coast and return, with the final kilometres completed on a looped course at Murrarie.
Race director and founder Glenn Williams, whose son Mitchell was diagnosed with autism at the age of four, said the challenging conditions of the ride did not deter the cyclists.
“The cause is the most important thing. Autism Spectrum Disorder affects thousands of families across Australia, but receives less than 5 per cent of research funding,” he said.
“I’m delighted with the amount of support this year’s ride received through the Everyday Hero sponsorship initiative and I know the money raised will be used well.”
Fellow organiser and participant, V1 Cyclery’s Stephen Geiszler, said there was great camaraderie among the cyclists.
“I have always wanted to do a 300km single day ride, but it needed to be something bigger than just me wanting to ride it for my own ego,” he said.
“What better way to do it than riding bikes and raising money for a cause that so many people I know personally deal with.”
Director of the Autism Centre of Excellence, Professor Jacqui Roberts, praised the commitment of the cyclists.
“It was an amazing effort. The cyclists started before dawn and finished after dark,” she said.
“The Autism Centre of Excellence is focused on research and learning programs to improve quality of life for people diagnosed with autism, opening doors of opportunity from early childhood to further education and into employment.
“Initiatives like the ACE 300 ride and Everyday Hero help us to continue that important work.”