Cyclists braved wet and windy conditions last week to raise awareness and thousands of dollars for Autism early intervention in the inaugural Ocean2Orchard.
About 20 cyclists set off from Burns Beach making their way 50 km to the orchards of Lower Chittering on Sunday 20 September.
Event organiser and Golden Grove Orchard owner Adam Saunders said the Autism Association of WA had been a cause close to his family’s heart since the diagnosis of their six-year-old son Jacob three years ago.
“The ‘First Steps for Autism’ program run by the Autism Association has been pivotal in Jacob’s progress since we received his diagnosis,” Mr Saunders said.
“Without the support of the amazing carers and therapists at the Autism Association, we don’t believe our little Jakey would be able to attend the mainstream school that he now does – Mullaloo Beach Primary School.”
Seeing first hand how early intervention has helped Jacob spurred Mr Saunders to set up the Ocean2Orchard charity bike ride.
“We originally planned the event for June but had to push it back to September due to COVID-19,” he said.
“We were determined to see this event get off the ground because lots of the riders have a connection with autism.
“We are going to make this a yearly event, becoming bigger and better every year to help increase the focus on Autism early intervention.”
Next year’s ride is set to take place in May or June and expressions of interest can be made at www.Ocean2Orchard.com.au.
The ride is for cyclists of all abilities with a fundraiser fun day at Golden Grove Orchard after the ride.