Meet our first-ever group of World Bicycle Relief Australia Ambassadors! Backed by our amazing sponsors, the Ambassador program provides a select group of supporters with gear and fundraising tools to help them in their year-long adventure to help people transform their lives through the Power of Bicycles.
WBR launched in Australia in May 2017, and the aim is to raise funds for 1,000 Buffalo Bicycles by the end of 2018.
Each Ambassador is challenged to raise $10,000 to provide life-changing bicycles to students and healthcare workers in rural Africa and train field bicycle mechanics.
We’re thrilled to introduce the first group of many that will help drive impact for those in need. Meet our new Ambassadors!
Media personality, commentator of the Tour De France and avid cyclist Matthew Keenan has joined the ranks of ambassadors for WBR Australia.
“I’m proud to be an Ambassador for World Bicycle Relief Australia. Bikes have given me my closest friendship group, my employment, and my life is much better for having cycling part of it. But for people living in poverty, a bike can be life-changing.
“For those in the poorest countries, moving from walking to a bike creates so many opportunities that I take for granted and most of us in the Western world take for granted. A bike provides better access to clean water and health care, significantly reduces travel times to school and an education, which is the most powerful tool there is to reducing poverty.
“To be an ambassador for World Bicycle Relief, and trying to improve the lives of others, is a privilege.”
We are beyond excited to have Matthew on board!
Sarah Wilson is an Australian journalist, television presenter, blogger, media consultant and author of the best-selling book I Quit Sugar. She’s also a philanthropist, and we’re proud to have her as ambassador for WBR Australia.
“When I closed my IQuitSugar.com business, I said I was donating the profits to charity and the freed-up time to working on good projects.
“I’ve looked into a bunch of charitable projects. I swiftly became the (World Bicycle Relief) ambassador to help the global charity kick big goals.
“And here’s the thing. Whatever I raise via my fundraising page, I will match it, dollar for dollar. Bam! My current goal is to raise $30,000 via my fundraising page, and once that is achieved, I’ll match it. And voila – we raised money to fund 2 schools with Buffalo Bicycles!”
Now that’s quite a goal, and we will be by her side all the way to help her achieve this tremendous effort. Thank you, Sarah!
As a former professional cyclist on the European circuit who also competed for Australia in the National Championships, 29-year-old Carlee Taylor knows first-hand the impact a bicycle can have on a life.
“I think it is pretty easy to take for granted some tasks that are made pretty easy when you come from a country like Australia, especially the ease of getting to school. Bicycles and cycling has been my passion in life, and I believe everybody should be given an opportunity to be able to ride a bike,” she says.
Carlee, who retired from pro cycling in January, says “I am really proud to be an Ambassador for World Bicycle Relief. I think it is an amazing charity, and I can’t wait to help make a difference to those who really need it.”
We’re excited to see where Carlee’s journey takes her!
Alex Manly, who rides for Australia on the track and for professional women’s road team Mitchelton-SCOTT, had a busy 2017 season. This looks like a promising year for Alex. She’s been chosen to ride in the Commonwealth Games and is also very excited to get involved with World Bicycle Relief.
“I’m really proud to be an Ambassador for World Bicycle Relief,” says 22-year-old Alex. “I have been wanting to get involved in something bigger than myself, so I was excited to get the opportunity from WBR. I am looking forward to learning more about the people who inspired this movement and to be able to contribute to the lives of the people WBR serves through its programs. It is amazing what a bicycle can do.”
Here’s to an exciting 2018, Alex! Thanks for joining us at WBR!
Olympian BMX pro rider Lauren Reynolds has been racing since she was nine. She won her first World title at 12 and competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in women’s individual cycling.
“My love for bikes, cycling and being active is like no other. I know the enjoyment I get out of it, and I’d love to help share this with as many people as possible,” says Lauren, who goes back and forth between San Diego, Calif., and Bunbury, Western Australia. “I’m really pumped to work with World Bicycle Relief.”
Thanks, Lauren! We’re excited to work with you too!
As an avid cyclist, Ben Gove is already a big supporter of WBR through offline racing and the online cycling world of Zwift. His two weekly Zwift rides, entitled The Chop, have a huge following. Each race draws more than 150 riders! Recently, Ben introduced a fundraising initiative through these races to raise money for WBR.
Ben is excited to represent WBR while at events such as Peaks Challenge Falls Creek and Velothon Sunshine Coast. He also enjoys forging new relationships for WBR through these adventures.
“Cycling is a metaphor for life. You get out of it what you put into it. As a cyclist, I take the ethos into everything I do, and believe wholeheartedly that with World Bicycle Relief, we can achieve the same for those in need,” says Ben.
Ride on, Ben!
Ironman triathlete and endurance cyclist Anna Gurnhill doesn’t usually use her events and training for fundraising. But in realising how transformational a bicycle can be – especially for those in rural communities around the world – WBR seemed like a perfect fit.
“I’ve realised how aligned my own sentiment for cycling is to the work being undertaken by World Bicycle Relief where the bike is a truly powerful and transformative machine. The sense of freedom, liberation and power that I experience from my bike transcends different contexts and meanings to provide opportunities for those living much less privileged lifestyles across the globe,” Anna says.
Anna plans to show off her WBR kit this year at several events and during training. Her schedule includes Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, Ironman Australia and several long-course triathlons. She also recently organised an International Women’s Day breakfast introducing WBR. A segment on the event aired on the Channel 9 news in Canberra.
Thanks for sharing the message of The Power of Bicycles, Anna!
A former professional cyclist, Walker Starr has spent years dedicated to the sport and fundraising for cycling-related charities.
“Sport and cycling are areas that bring people together. To do anything well in life, you must have a higher purpose,” Walker says. “I see World Bicycle Relief as the perfect melding of my passion for cycling, the life-changing potential of a bicycle, and a way to build a dedicated community in Australia to support this great cause.”
It’s with his strong connection to the cycling, nonprofit and business worlds that Walker knows he’ll be able to help build a dedicated community of advocates for WBR in Australia.
“I thought I knew how life changing cycling could be,” says Walker. “However, when you realise that a bike can be even more to those in need – a tool for education, safety, community and a powerful tool for self-belief, there is so much more than can be done. My motivation is to help build the community of cyclists and those interested in WBR to help support this great cause.”
Thank you, Walker, for bringing your passion to WBR. We’re excited to see you in action!
Feeling inspired by our amazing 2018 Ambassadors?