Roughly 30 cyclists put their rubber to the pavement this morning (September 13) as they 'Pedal for Kids'.

In its ninth year, the group of riders collectively raised $115,000 for Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities with $15,000 of that supporting our local Cochrane chapter.

Brittany Schussler a gold medal World Champion speed skater has been involved with Pedal for Kids for the past few years. Working with FGL Sports, Schussler understands the importance of being physically active.

FGL in partnership with Sport Chek is happy to support the great work of Jumpstart, shares Schussler. “It’s a three-day ride, about 100 km a day, rain or shine, raising money for Jumpstart. This year’s ride we have about 30 people from across the family of Canadian Tire companies as well as some vendors and sponsors. We raise the money, we do the ride, we do the school donation and we put on our rally hats and just try to help kids have better lives."

No one knows understands the benefit that Jumpstart brings families, quite like Robert Hatch, Owner of the Cochrane Canadian Tire store as well as a Board Member for Jumpstart Charities.  With school back in and sporting activities firing up, Hatch anticipates another busy year. "Every year we see the need going up. We have some families in our area that are really having a tough time and we are able to help, in part, because we have incredible community partners like Spray Lake Sports Centre, Town of Cochrane and the schools. Working with them we are able to get the money out to the right families, at the right time and it's really making a difference."

Hatch shares they have the $15,000 monetary donation earmarked for some special events. "We have got a couple of initiatives we're working on, one is with the female Olympians called 'Fast and Female'. We are looking at doing a special event just for girls in town possibly before the end of the year. "

Being active all throughout her life, Schussler says Jumpstart is a cause close to her heart. "My whole life shaped up how it did so far because of sports and because of my involvement in sports. So to know that there are so many kids in Canada that don't have that opportunity just guts me. To be able to come, look at kids and say I want you to have these opportunities even if you don't want to be an Olympic or professional athlete but just find your peer group, people to connect with, have great leadership and role models, sports is fantastic. Every kid deserves a chance to play and we're lucky to be able to help kids do that."

Making a stop and presentation at Glenbow School first, the riders embarked on their three-day journey around 11 am today. Pedalling to Canmore today, tomorrow to Lake Louise and returning to Canmore, and wrapping up at Cochrane's Canadian Tire on Saturday, the group of riders will have travelled 300 km in total. 

Pedal for Kids happens once a year benefitting Jumpstart Charity chapters all throughout the country.

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