Victoria grannies tackle bike trek for Africa’s less fortunate

Three-day Island journey raises money in support of African grandmothers

Age really is just a number to this group of grannies.

They have spent months training for a three-day 280-kilometre trek that begins Friday (Sept. 9) in Campbell River and will end in Victoria on Sunday (Sept. 11) to raise money for the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa fifth annual bicycle tour.

“The encounters with other like-minded grandmothers keep the group energized to achieve our goal,” Christine Scott, rider and event committee chair, said in a statement.

Their journey will be not only be a remarkable accomplishment since most participants are more than 60 years old, including one grandmother who is over 80, but also because funds raised will support African grandmothers who are raising their HIV/AIDS-orphaned grandchildren.

Previous Island tours have generated nearly $150,000 for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. 

Since 2003 the foundation has provided financial assistance to more than 300 grassroots initiatives in more than 15 sub-Saharan African countries. 

Similar rides happen elsewhere in Canada, which have collectively raised more than $10 million since 2006.

When the Victoria Grandmothers for Africa cyclists reach the Church of St. John the Divine at 1611 Quadra St. on Sunday, there will be a welcome party at 3 p.m. To sponsor a rider, please visit j.mp/victoriacycle.

emccracken@vicnews.com