Williamstown’s Xander Schmitz is the youngest cyclist in next month’s three-day 25000spins Great Ocean Road Challenge, riding from Geelong to Warrnambool to raise money for children living in poverty.
Xander, 10, says he wants to use something he’s good at to help people.
“I love sports and am very good at riding,” he says.
“This is a very big ride for me. The first two days are over 120 kilometres and have lots of hills. So I really have to be ready for it.”
Xander, a member of the Western Suburbs Triathlon Club and Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club, said his triathlon coach had tailored a special program for the ride, which will cover 300 kilometres in three days.
He said knowing there were children living in poverty made him “more than sad – really sad”.
“These children don’t have any books and don’t even have enough to eat a lot of the time,” Xander said.
“The money I’m raising will help pay for two greenhouses for a community to help kids grow their own food, or it can also get running water to a town.”
His father, Warwick Schmitz, says he’s really proud of Xander, who always rides with a smile on his face.
“This is a tough challenge for anyone, let alone a kid who’s just turned 10. I think the thing that’s so inspiring is that he’s always happy; this isn’t a chore for him.
“We have a lot of support from local riders when they see him and everyone can tell that he’s enjoying himself. Even after three or four hours of solid riding, he’s still happy.”
Xander aims to raise $2500 by February 4. Visit his fundraising page at greatoceanrd25000spins2016.gofundraise.com.au/page/XanderSchmitz