Oceanside RCMP member Tim Kenning will cycle for childhood cancer research in the 22nd annual Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock.
This will be Kenning’s first time participating in the Tour de Rock, but his fifth time taking part in a cycle fundraising tour. He’s done the Cops for Cancer Tour de Coast twice, which takes participants 800 kilometres along the Sea to Sky corridor as well as the Sunshine Coast, North Shore and cities in greater Vancouver. He’s also done the Cops for Kids ride twice which takes place in the Kootenays.
“The Tour de Rock in essence is the big one, the one that is most well known, gets the most coverage and by far raises the most money,” Kenning said. “I consider myself a veteran but also a newbie in the sense that this one is done a lot bigger.”
The Tour de Rock is a fundraising event that raises money for childhood cancer research and support programs for children with a history of cancer. To date, the event has raised more than $25 million. The Tour de Rock team cycles from one end of the Vancouver Island to the other, covering 1,000 kilometres and visiting more than 27 communities along the way.
“It’s an amazing program. I’ve been apart of it with various degrees for a long time and this has always been known as the big fundraiser and the big event and this is my first opportunity to be able to do it,” Kenning said. “I jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the program.”
Kenning, who has been with the Oceanside RCMP for almost a year, said he’s passionate about raising money for sick kids and spent some time himself in the Children’s Hospital.
“Personally, I’m a survivor of the Children’s Hospital, not from cancer but from a brain aneurysm, in Grade 7,” he said. “What started me into the riding and programs was Cops for Kids out in the Kootenays, that helps kid in general, and then I became part of the tours and rides and love how it’s all put together.”
Kenning said he has been assigned junior riders from the Parksville Qualicum Beach region but being in the early stages of organization, he doesn’t know their story quite yet.
The Tour de Rock Junior Team is made up of Vancouver Island children who have a history of cancer. Some of the kids are currently undergoing treatment, some are in remission, while others are the sibling of a child who lost their life to cancer.
Being an avid cyclist, Kenning said it’s not necessarily the riding that will be the most challenging aspect of the tour, but the time management and fundraising.
“Fundraising is a challenge, it’s a big commitment…which comes from somebody who has a lot of little kids…they’re five, three and ten months old,” he said.
Training for the 2019 team is well underway and plans for fundraising initiatives are in the works.
The tour takes place from Sept. 21 to Oct. 4. The team will ride through Parksville and Qualicum Beach on Sept. 26.