The Ride around the Lake charity recreational cycle was held in Wollongong, NSW on Saturday morning, 16th May 2015. The theme of the event was ‘breaking the cycle’ of homeless young people in the Illawarra by raising awareness and funds for the Lighthouse Youth Initiative.

This organisation works to accommodate and support homeless youth aged 16-24. It is a frightening thing to consider the fact, that on any given night in the Wollongong and Shoalhaven areas, there are over 1200 young people without a place to call home.

The Lighthouse Youth Initiative takes up their cause, providing shelter, and equipping them with training, life skills development, and employment related experience in view of re-engaging them with the wider community, with purpose and vision for their futures.

The Ride around the Lake involved a 40km circuit around Lake Illawarra, picturesque in the early morning light. There was also a 10km cycle path event for families and younger riders. The RRT provided refreshments along the way for the hundreds of cyclists showing compassion for our youth. The RRT team was stationed at Holborn Park, the 30km mark, as well as at marshalling points nearby to direct cyclists on their route.

The RRT refreshment team was excited to welcome the enthusiastic participants as they cycled through the 30km achievement point on their scenic tour around the lake. However the first convoy of cyclists were so avid they whizzed past in a flash! The next group just had time to grab a peeled banana, or uncapped water or juice as they sped by. Some travelling by tandem hesitated, with one rider thinking a stop would be good, while the other pedalled away, determined to forge on to the finish!!

Finally as time went on, there were many pleased for an opportunity to regain their breath and relax a few moments, enjoying the beautiful outlook across the lake. They welcomed complimentary cold drinks and cappuccinos, ANZAC biscuits, chocky rocks, savoury nuts ‘n’ bolts, energy bars and bananas, and shared tales of their journey.

This pick-me-up was cheerfully received by the participants before they pushed on over the hill, well on their way to raising almost $20000 to help break the cycle of homelessness for the young people in the Illawarra.

RRT are very supportive of the goal of this initiative, and would like to thank the Lighthouse Centre for their work. It was privilege to support over 500 cyclists committed to raising money, to help break the cycle of youth homelessness by building in these young people initiative, character, confidence and positive connections in the community.

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