Epic ride to give disabled a fighting chance

Stanwell Park resident Simon Noakes is looking forward to the ride of his life when he joins a team of 17 cyclists for the Tour de Chance later this month.

The 52-year-old air traffic controller will ride from Brisbane to Sydney to help raise $250,000 for non-profit organisation Fighting Chance, which provides employment opportunities for profoundly disabled youth.

It’s a personal mission for Mr Noakes, whose friend Tim Powell initiated the tour last year to support the organisation which had given his daughter Ashleigh her first job.

‘‘Ashleigh, 22, suffers from a neurological disorder that significantly impairs her physical abilities,’’ Mr Noakes said.

‘‘Working for Fighting Chance has been fantastic for her. She has enjoyed using her creativity to work on a line of greeting cards and she’s also gained a greater sense of self-worth, which is wonderful for her family to see.

‘‘We’re keen to raise these funds to allow the organisation to provide further meaningful employment and more opportunities for those who are severely disabled.’’

Mr Noakes said the tour also raised awareness of some of the biggest issues affecting people with disabilities. These include lack of access to employment and feelings of isolation.

The event will kick off in Brisbane on February 27 and continue for 10 days, with riders tackling 80 to 150 kilometres a day. 

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