Bowlers’ near in on ride for mental health

by Lachlan Williams

Ray Pearse and best mate Ben McCall are just one day out from jumping on their bike and hitting the road to raise funds and awareness for suicide prevention organisation Gotcha 4 Life.

Pearse, the reigning Australian Champion of Champions, and McCall will ride more than 850 kilometres from Sydney to South Tweed, leaving on Friday and riding for seven days.

The plan had been to meet with communities along the way, but COVID restrictions put an unfortunate halt to those plans.

“Unfortunately we had to cancel three conferences planned on the way,” Pearse said.

“We have also had to change the route, now taking us west through to Ryde and then to Hornsby.”

The duo and their support crew will depart Redfern Oval at 9am on Friday.

Pearse said despite the meet and greets now off the table along the way, he hopes to see people still follow their journey.

“We planned to meet about 500 people through conferences along the way, so losing that we are thinking of how else we can engage with people. We have a few Tik Tok challenges and other things planned to have some fun,” he said.

The virtual fun can be viewed on the pair’s Facebook page.

Pearse said he is fit and raring to go to tackle the ride.

“I’ve been off the bike a little recently, just been in the gym to keep the legs strong. We did a rehearsal last week, so think we are good to go,” he said.

The ride is in conjunction with Gotcha4Life, a non-for-profit organisation focusing on mental health, to raise awareness about dealing with mental health issues.

Pearse said the show of support has been fantastic so far, and hopes to see even more donations come in once they hit the road.

“We are just under halfway of our target for donations, which is promising,” he said.

“It is such an important organisation to be raising money for, and is a cause we both feel quite passionate about.”

To donate to Ray and Ben’s Ride for Gotcha 4 Life, click here.

If you or someone you know is in need of support, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.