News Release

Cycling for Veterans

Cycling for veterans
Cycling for veterans
Angus Taylor, Alex Gomez, Tony Abbott, Leo Gomez, and Andrew Hastie pose at Pollie Pedal Bike Ride in Perth© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

A 1000-kilometre bicycle ride over eight days during the second week in October this year, brought together members of the military and others in support of charities helping veterans transitioning to civilian life. 

This year’s “Pollie Pedal” raised funds for “Wandering Warriors,” a charity operated almost entirely by unpaid volunteers. The charity supports retired Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) veterans transitioning into civilian life by funding and facilitating educational pathways in collaboration with universities and vocational training providers.  

The 1000-kilometres participants cycled over eight days. The course began at Kings Park in Perth and headed southward along the Western Australia coast as far as Augusta, before looping inland on its path back up to Perth. 
The participants included several former and currently serving SASR soldiers lead by its highest-ranking officer Corenell Rob Lang. The peloton also included former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Federal Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor and Federal Shadow Defence Minister Andrew Hastie amongst other prominent community and business leaders.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was again featured on the riders’ jerseys as one of the major sponsors, thanks to the anonymous donation of a Church member. 
Brothers Leo and Alex Gomez represented the Church on their bicycles. Alex currently serves as a member of a stake presidency (group of congregations like a diocese) in Brisbane. Both Gomez brothers are former elite competitive cyclists and have enjoyed participating in Pollie Pedal over the past 13 years. 
“The Pollie Pedal tradition is more than just a bike ride,” Alex said. “As representatives of the Church during this event, we have the opportunity to meet some truly amazing individuals and gain insights into those who serve and contribute to Australia in unique and remarkable ways.  

Cycling for veterans
Cycling for veterans
Brothers, Alex and Leo Gomez (center), have participated in Pollie Pedal Bike Ride over past 13 years© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“The time we spend together, both on and off the bike, is a wonderful way to forge meaningful relationships and give back to the communities we visit.” 
Leo added that he was deeply impressed by the selfless character of the members of our special forces, and glad to be able to ride to support them. “Learning of their voluntary work in assisting one another to become self-reliant in post service civilian life is inspiring,” he noted. “Each one has closely encountered some of the worst human conflict in recent history.  

“I expected to meet battle-hardened troopers, but instead I was befriended with the most unassuming generosity,” he continued. “I have not seen a greater example of ministering than to witness the manner in which they care for one another on and off the bike.” 
The Pollie Pedal Bike Ride was initiated as a nonpartisan fund-raising event designed to encourage politicians out of their parliamentary offices and into grass roots Australian communities. The event has raised over $7 million dollars over its 25-year history for many worthy causes.  

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been one of the longest continual supporters of the event and has been involved from its earliest beginnings. 

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