The Wuchopperen Warriors have returned home with sore muscles and huge smiles following the completion of over 330km on their bikes for the Cairns to Cooktown Cardiac Challenge. The annual Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation event sees teams ride the gruelling track to raise money for the Cairns Hospital’s Cardiac Unit.
The Wuchopperen Warriors raised $23,000 this year, smashing their initial goal of $10,000. The team were founded in 2015 and have competed in the event twice before, with this year a key highlight for many in the team.
Charlene Allen, Rider, Fundraising Motivator and Wuchopperen’s Purchasing Officer says the event was a challenge which wouldn’t have been possible without the excellent support received from the community.
‘The riders get all the accolades but we had a great support team for the ride and all the support we have received in donations from the public was a real motivator. We all looked like professional cyclists on the trip thanks to our jersey sponsors PJ Electrical and Grant Thornton Australia.
‘The Wuchopperen Warriors were an absolute inspiration! It is a difficult event to complete, but each member of the team pulled through and did an outstanding job. We want to inspire young and old alike to get active and to challenge themselves, knowing they can achieve more than they thought possible,’ says Charlene.
It wasn’t just all fun and games from the Wuchopperen Warriors, with cardiac health at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
‘Raising much needed funds for the Cairns Hospital Cardiac Unit was also a big thrill for us. Cardiac health is so important and giving people access to the best possible health care in the Cairns region is important to everyone at Wuchopperen,’ says Charlene.
Melissa Ernst from Wuchopperen Warriors was also selected as Pack Leader for a team featuring some first-timers and members of Indigenous youth cycling team, 2 Deadly Treadleys.
‘Being a pack leader was such a great experience, it took a lot of energy to not only look after myself, but the rest of the pack and drivers too.
It was wonderful to work with some of the younger people who had never done a big ride like this before. Being there to support the team and watch how proud they were for achieving their goal was really rewarding,’ says Melissa.
Donations are open for another month, so there's still time to be a part of the Wuchopperen Warrior’s journey. The team will be back on their bikes this week training for their next event, Jungle Ride and having fun while doing it.