The training has been long and hard already, but RCMP Oceanside detachment’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock participants are happy to be doing it for the children.
“I love to work with kids,” said Constable Rochelle Carr, who has worked with children in various capacities, including in a preschool when she was in university, as a lifeguard and through the RCMP DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program.
Her fellow Parksville rider, auxiliary officer Bill Peppy, aside from having two children, has long been involved in helping children, through his Cops for Cancer annual golf tournament and through outlets like his Oceanside Martial Arts Academy.
Peppy usually does 200 to 250 volunteer hours a year with the RCMP and estimates he’ll add 1,000 hours for the tour this year.
By the beginning of August, the north-Island team had already done more than 2,400 training kilometres since being selected in March.
“We’ll do three times the length of the tour by the time we head out officially on September 24,” he said.
On Tuesday they do hill training, “turns out there’s all kinds of hills we didn’t know about in Nanaimo,” he said.
On Thursday they do speed drills and focus on distance on Sunday, now up to 80 to 100 km days which they can do in around four hours.
One of their main beneficiaries is Camp Goodtimes in Maple Ridge, which provides a medically supervised summer camp experience for over 600 children with cancer every year.
The local riders and the rest of the team visited the camp recently to see what their efforts go to and to run a casino fun-night.
Carr, who had worked in regular summer camps, said this was a completely different experience where “the children weren’t just spoiled rich kids, they were thrilled to be there and really appreciated what they had.”
She said the children had to be well enough to attend, but “there were still doctors and nurses and the children were being tough, covering up, but that was the nice thing, they didn’t care, they all know what each other are going through.”
By the time the Canadian Cancer Society, Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock starts down Vancouver Island on September 24, there will be many more fundraising events throughout Oceanside for people to take part in. Watch The News for more details on events like the August 27, all-day Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club event and evening prime rib dinner, call Oura at 250-594-1150 or email Oura@shaw.ca for tickets and information.
Also catch rider Bill Peppy’s September 9 Cops for Cancer golf tournament at Morning Star Golf and Country Club, call Bill or Debbie at 250-248-4951 for tickets. The tour stops in the Oceanside area on Sept. 29. To donate or for more info. visit www.tourderock.ca or leave a message at the Oceanside detachment at 250-482-6111.