Guest blog by Libby Hurley
From the 6-8th of March, I had the honour of being involved in the Queenstown Classic Charity Ride, an annual non-competitive ride hosted by 25000 Spins. I chose to raise money for Tearfund, who partnered with another organisation called Nvader. Nvader rescue children who have been enslaved in the sex trafficking industry. Sex trafficking is modern day slavery. Every year approximately two million women and children are deceived and coerced into the commercial sex industry. This is commonly referred to as the "rape for profit industry" where the victims are dehumanised, broken and enslaved. Nvader also play a crucial role in the prosecution process, providing evidence to local governments in order to assist them in finding the perpetrators guilty. After children are rescued, they are cared for and given assistance by other organisations whose skill-set is better suited to the after care stage.
The Queenstown Classic was, hands down, one of the best experiences I've ever had! Anyone that can pedal a bike should take part in a charity ride at some stage in their life. For me, it was an opportunity too good to turn down.
Our cycle route was as follows: Day 1, we rode from Queenstown to Cromwell via Arrowtown. Day 2, from Cromwell to Wanaka via Lake Hawea and Day 3 was from Wanaka to Queenstown via Cardrona, Crown Range, Arrowtown and Shotover Bridge. The route, although hilly, wasn’t too hard or out of reach. I believe if anyone wants it bad enough they can do it! The Crown Range did seem a bit daunting to begin with, but once you’re there climbing and you know who you’re riding for, it makes the mountain in front of you seem a lot smaller in proportion.
It was amazing to pedal up hills for a cause greater than just challenging yourself. We pedaled for freedom of those trapped in slavery and the group of 55 individuals raised over $100,000 for 5 different charities in doing so!!! It's upsetting to think that once my legs were sore, my body tired, I got to go home and that those who are trapped in slavery are still there, right this second - Living in a world I can't even imagine.
Without more of us stepping out to help, they may never escape, but if we join together and make a difference more and more lives can be saved – and what better way to do it than to ride a bike!!! Challenge yourself for someone else. #Tearfund #Nvader #Freedom