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The Great Cycle Challenge

Updated: 4 days ago

by WillowWood's Steve Taylor


At the beginning of August, a few of us teachers thought it would be fun to get on our bikes and participate in the Great Cycle Challenge during the month of August. We figured it would be a great way to get in shape, get outside, and help children fighting cancer. We registered a team named the WillowWood Road Warriors, put out a recruitment call, set goals of cycling 1000 km and raising $5000, and started riding. The team was comprised of parents (Jennifer Diau, Jessica Scott), students (Arjun Goenka, Quinn Powell, Luke Ruscica, Dominic Williams), and teachers Suzanna Cermak, Walid Dowdie, Melissa Grant, Joanna Marshall, Stacey Michaels, Matt Rusinek, Steve Taylor)


What Is It?

The Great Cycle Challenge started in 2016 and after just 5 years has become one of the largest and most impactful cycling events in Canada. People of all ages, abilities, and from every province across the country set a personal riding goal and challenge themselves throughout August to hit it. All funds raised are donated to the SickKids Foundation in support of research to develop treatments and cures for childhood cancer. A total of 12,580,838 kilometres have been ridden and $21,612,147 has been raised so far.


How’d It Go?

I am happy to report that that WillowWood’s inaugural participation in the event was a MASSIVE success. Our team grew to be 14-strong and included teachers, parents, and students, who collectively raised $12,789.42 and rode $2119 km in less than a month. The Road Warriors finished second in the country in fundraising among educational institutions (It took an entire school board from Durham to out-ride and out fundraise us) and 31st among all participating organizations.

Our team page will be up until the end of September. You can still visit it at https://greatcyclechallenge.ca/Teams/WillowWoodRoadWarriors


Next Year?

You betcha…except it’s going to be an even greater success! We made a huge impact with a relatively small team (13) that started riding a few days into the challenge. Imagine what we can do next year, with a contingent of 50!