ABOVE: Some of the participants at the weekend’s Living to ride event, from left, Dean Gray, Jaiden Kearin, Brandon Petrie, Richard Squire and Jono Druce.
Two days of dirt bike racing action, fun and family activity at the Newtown Park Speedway on the weekend achieved what the organisers had hoped.
“The aim of the ‘Living to Ride’ weekend was to bring the community together with our local community aid services, give exposure to the services and promote awareness and prevention of suicide” said organisers Leon Ryman and Craige McInnes who planned the event which was hosted by the Narrabri Dirt Bike Club.
The weekend was all about bringing the community together to promote a positive message.
The Narrabri group ‘Life Worth Living’ was the beneficiary of fund raising on the day and money raised will be spent locally. Several thousand dollars were raised.
The weekend was a community event to promote suicide awareness and prevention, and the big picture was to emphasise a caring community offering mutual support.
“There was a wonderful sense of community” a spokesperson for Life Worth Living, Mrs Elaine Jensen said.
Life Worth Living, a local, unfunded support group, was the beneficiary of funds raised.
Blue skies and great weather set the scene for the weekend which engaged bike riders of all ages and their families in the spirit of the event.
‘The atmosphere was very positive” said Elaine Jensen, and emphasised the importance of a caring community.
“We were very happy with the number of riders and people who came along” said Leon.
The supportive community atmosphere was a feature of the day.
“There was an understanding of looking out for your mates and this was illustrated by the example of the Pony Express where two riders would go out and if the rider in front of you fell off you would stop and help him” said Elaine.
“It was about being aware of everybody in your area.
“Stopping to help other people is something we all want to see come across in the community.
“Jim Purcell gave a brief talk with a powerful message about looking out for your mates.”
“The weekend was a fund raiser, the amount is to be finalised but it was many thousands of dollars” said Leon.
“It was a good result and the money will go to Life Worth Living to be spent locally.”
‘We are focussing on community wellbeing as a group and a positive and caring message, a solid sense of community” said Elaine.
“In trying to reduce suicides we have to be looking out for each other.”
More awareness raising events are planned.
On October 10, Life Worth Living will hold a ‘Fun -Raiser’ a day of barefoot bowls in conjunction with World Mental Health Day.
“It will be a day of fun, laughter and community engagement” said Elaine.
And Leon and Craige are considering possibilities for another event.
“We are looking at the October long weekend next year for racing over two days and see if we can incorporate dirt bike racing with the Speedway Club for a day and night event” said Leon.