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Cops for Cancer Island team features 5 West Shore RCMP, 2 Saanich, 1 military member

19-member 26th annual Tour de Rock team named, training jerseys issued
The 19-rider 2023 Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team includes five West Shore RCMP officers, two from Saanich and one from the Canadian Military Police based in Esquimalt. The team that will ride the Island to raise funds for the Canadian Cancer Society this fall was announced May 12 at St. Margaret’s School in Saanich. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Fundraising is officially underway with the Tour de Rock riders named for the 26th Cops for Cancer cycling tour of Vancouver Island.

The 2023 ride kicks off Sept. 23 in Port Alice and winds up Oct. 6 in Victoria with team members officially announced Friday (May 12) morning at St. Margaret’s School in Saanich.

“There is no greater cause than raising money for childhood cancer,” West Shore RCMP Supt. Todd Preston said during the announcement and handing out of the official training jerseys.

“This particular journey pulls communities together for the greater good, when you go across each small community whether it be Sayward, Tofino or downtown Victoria, the common message, the common theme is helping children.”

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria Tour de Rock members inspired by the kids they’re riding for

This year’s team of police, emergency services and media riders includes the hefty West Shore RCMP contingent of Scott Hait, Mason Harrison, Rusty Olsen, Justin Raycraft and Kris Valentine. It features two from the Saanich Police Department, Shauna Bainbridge and Nadia Sandhu, and one Esquimalt-based Canadian Military Police member Mary Larkin. The 19-member team also includes Troy Mann from Island District RCMP, Mike Ramsey of Nanaimo RCMP, Wes Richens of North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, Ajinkya Chodankar of Courtenay Fire Department, Kirk Wolstenholme of Parksville Fire Department, Kayla Carlson of North Cowichan Fire Department and B.C. Emergency Health riders Michael Lowey and Katie Olsen. Media riders this year are Hannah Lelpine of Chek News and Johnny Novack of Virgin Radio.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay High raises over $34,000 to send 18 kids facing cancer to camp

Each year, the team engages communities along the Island route to raise money for childhood cancer research and support services through the Canadian Cancer Society. Tour de Rock has raised $28 million since 1998.

“Not every day’s going to be sunny like it is today … but I want you to know we are behind you 100 per cent,” Preston said.


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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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