Students ride for PNG cause

National, Normal

The National, Friday 25th November 2011

Blue Mountains students put their bodies on the line in sweltering conditions last Friday as they rode or walked to raise money for their counterparts in Papua New Guinea.
Five schools from the Mountains and Penrith areas were represented along with Rotarians and members of Glenbrook RAAF Base as more than 450 people turned out for the inaugural Lapping the Lake fund-raiser.
The A$20,000 (K41,342) already raised by the participants, who rode their bikes or walked laps of a 5km course at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, will be used to build a high school in Papua New Guinea.
Event organiser Michael Harriden said Lapping the Lake had been an “absolute success”.
“Considering the rain the day before, we thought there’d be a lot less kids there than normal but I think they just kept, I suppose, the vision of the real reason they were going to be there, and they could have had a day off but they turned up,” Michael said.
The money will go with the A$20,000 previously raised by Michael and his son Greg when they rode 1,000km from Brisbane to Sydney last year to kick-start construction of Mando High School.
Michael will join fellow Rotarians in Papua New Guinea in February as they guide the locals in the building process.
Michael said Lapping the Lake had proved an equal challenge to the previous long-distance ride with his son.
“This was a massive amount of pressure because it was a change. It was different because you had to rely on other people instead of yourself but the big advantage was I wasn’t riding 1,000km,” he said.
Students from Winmalee, Blaxland, Jamison, Penrith and Nepean high schools were involved in Lapping the Lake while Penrith, Nepean and Penrith Valley Rotary clubs joined Lower Blue Mountains Rotary Club in organising the event. – Blue Mountain Gazette