Great mission begins for Surf Coast students

November 21, 2023 BY

(L-R) Charlie Baluch, Xas Cummins, Hudson Brett, Gus Maibaum, Oscar Bradshaw, Xavier Montgomery and Willem Curwood with teacher Cassie Blakeway. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

A HANDFUL of Surf Coast Secondary School students will get into gear next weekend for the start of this year’s Great Victorian Bike Ride.

Year 9 and Year 11 students Charlie Baluch, Xas Cummins, Hudson Brett, Gus Maibaum, Oscar Bradshaw, Xavier Montgomery, and Willem Curwood will again don the school’s cycling jerseys as they undertake the statewide iconic bike ride for a second-straight year.

Surf Coast Secondary School teacher and head of physical education Cassie Blakeway said the team has been hard at work staying active and undertaking practice rides between Torquay and Queenscliff ahead of the nine-day, 540km bike ride.

“It’s been a fun couple of months getting the team ready for the ride, there is still a couple organisational things to get sorted, but these guys also have the experience from last year’s ride, so it’s just pure excitement for this year.

“There are many benefits from coming on the ride for the students.

“The students socialise with each other and other schools, travel around rural parts of Victoria, challenge themselves and build fitness.”

This year’s ride will take cyclists east to the Gippsland region, further away from home, after last year’s ride took cyclists along the Great Ocean Road.

The Surf Coast Secondary students will travel to regional towns such as Orbost (November 25), Buchan (November 26), Lakes Entrance (November 27), Paynesville (November 28), Sale (November 29-30), Port Albert (December 1), Fish Creek (December 2) and lastly Wonthaggi (December 3).

Year 9 student Willem Curwood said his first great Victorian Bike Ride in 2022 was full of memorable moments representing the region during last year’s event, but is excited to see what else the state has to offer.

“The team and I are excited to explore the Gippsland area because we haven’t been there much, and we’ve heard great things about the region that way.

“Last year was a bit closer to home, but part of the experience is getting out of comfort zone and exploring parts of the state you haven’t been to before.

“Confidence is very high right now though, and we can’t wait to get stuck into it.”

For more information on this year’s Great Victorian Bike Ride, including the route, head to greatvic.com.au

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