The Gibb Challenge is a 720 kilometre mountain bike ride across the Gibb River Road in the stunning Kimberly region of North-western Australia. Sumitomo Chemical Australia sponsored South Australian Regional Manager, Fiona Hill, in the event, helping out by providing team jerseys and a donation to the event’s beneficiary charity Kyle Andrews Foundation.
“Teams consisted of one to six riders, and took part in the event in a relay-style formation. Our team of four amateur cyclists chose to ride in 20-minute intervals. Each team member took turns in riding, recovering and then driving the support vehicle.
The Challenge lasted for 4.5 days, the first day being the longest when we had to cover 220 kilometres, so we each had to ride eight times that day. Our team pushed hard and made it through, we were so exhausted but very happy for our achievement.
The terrain was quite rough, the dirt road was extremely dusty, and the corrugations made riding fairly uncomfortable. There were also patches of deep sand and river crossings. The stunning scenery made up for it though – you can see why so many people travel the Gibb River Road every year – but in a 4x4 motor vehicle instead of riding a bike!
The event tested both physical and mental fitness to the limit. It was a great team event which promoted getting along together, being considerate of each other, and supporting each other when things got tough. (Just like the wonderful team in the Sumitomo Chemical Australia work environment). We learnt to always stay positive!
Including riders and volunteer support staff, around 500 people took part in the challenge. It was great to meet new people with a common interest, and complete the event in good spirits.
Our team managed to raise almost $15,000 for the Kyle Andrews Foundation.
It was wonderful to have the support of Sumitomo Chemical Australia, I am very grateful to the company.”
The Kyle Andrews Foundation was established as a legacy to a brave young Broome boy, Kyle Andrews who lost his battle with cancer at the age of 11. In early 1998 Kyle was undergoing treatment for leukaemia at Princess Margaret Hospital and had a dream of bringing some of his young friends from Ward 3B to Cable Beach so that, in his words “they might feel better”. Thanks to the generosity of the people of Broome “Kyle’s Camp 98” was organised and for those children who attended, together with their carers and the organisers, the camp proved such a wonderful and enriching experience that it was determined that it be made an annual event. Kyle passed away in July 1998 after experiencing the first Kyle’s Camp. The Kyle Andrews Foundation group has been working together since 1998 to achieve Kyle’s dream. For more information on the Kyle Andrews foundation or to donate please go to http://www.kyleandrewsfoundation.com.au