Le Tour de Taree

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Imagine riding 3,344 km on a bike … Now imagine completing this same distance on an exercise bike! Club Taree’s Brand and Communications Manager, Paul Allan, and his team are planning to do just that, in the very first le Tour de Taree event. And it’s for a very special cause …

What are your roles and responsibilities at Club Taree?
I’ve just started a new role here at Club Taree as Brand and Communications Manager. I’ve been employed at Club Taree for four and a half years, previously in the role of Business Development Manager.
The role of Brand and Communications Manager is a new role for Club Taree which includes aligning our products and services, culture and internal and external engagement with our “Brand”, engaging with the community through the development and interaction of the Club Taree Community Team, liaising and building relationships with our supporters, sponsored groups and community partners, guiding the internal “creative” team, while also taking on more traditional marketing duties, organising entertainment and coordinating membership.
The establishment of the role has already been well accepted by the community, our partners, sponsored groups and members, as it provides an avenue for more meaningful community engagement and more project based activities within Club Taree.
A great example of this is the establishment of the Club Taree Community Team. Management has made a commitment to all our team members to pay them for four hours of community service within our local community each year. It is hoped (and is already the case) that our team members will support the community well above these four paid hours.
It really is a great community initiative. The Community Team is here to help; we have already been able to aide local community groups, projects, charities and individuals by providing labour, a helping hand and support.

Le Tour de Taree … please share with us how the idea for this event came about?
Each quarter our creative team holds a series of meetings, which aid to build the next quarter’s programme. We started discussing July, and we came across firstly Bastille Day, and then the le Tour de France. One team member joked that we should do the le Tour de Taree. GREAT IDEA, we all thought. A quick Google search found us committing ourselves to a ride perhaps a little longer than expected!
We had also indicated earlier in the year that we wanted to come up with something that would help raise money for Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW. It was the perfect fit, really. So in essence, le Tour de Taree is our Tribute to the le Tour de France and was built on an ad hoc comment from one of our team members.

What will be involved with this event?
It was decided that we would match the distance of the le Tour de France – 3,344 km. The distance will be covered as a whole across our participating team members. Logistics dictate that we still need to keep the club running, so we’ll have the three bikes set up in the Club Taree Members Lounge.
Not all of our team can participate, but those who can’t will cheer us on and help with the fundraising. Even before we start, we have 30 staff signed up to ride. We did make the ride relevant to Australia – the town of Larrimah in the Northern Territory. Larrimah is exactly 3,344 kilometres from Club Taree, 128 kilometres south east of Katherine and is home to 11 people. It’s known as being the home of the Giant NT Stubby, which sits proudly in the main street, next to a concrete Pink Panther. We will track our progress, both on the Tour de France route and also our Australian route.
We are mirroring the Tour de France, so we will have 22 days to complete the distance.

Where will funds raised go?
All funds raised are going straight to Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW. Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW (RMHNN) creates, supports and operates programmes that directly improve the health and wellbeing of sick or injured children and their families.
Rhiannon Curtis, Mid North Coast Community Liaison Officer for RMHNN has said, “With the generosity of organisations like Club Taree and the businesses and individuals that are sponsoring your riders, we will be able to support more families by providing a home away from home at Ronald McDonald House in Newcastle, as well a place to relax and recharge in our Family Room, just down the hall from their sick child’s ward in the John Hunter Children’s Hospital. Each week we have up to five families from the Mid North Coast staying at the House in Newcastle …
“We also support families of sick children with a much needed break at our Ronald McDonald Family Retreat, right here on the Mid North Coast in Forster. We have over 100 families already booked in to stay; 10 of those families are from the Mid North Coast …”

How can community members become involved?
Community members can become involved by supporting our team members. Each of our staff members have been issued with a sponsorship form. We have 80 staff at Club Taree – most locals would know someone who works here; maybe they would like to set them a challenge, sponsor per kilometre ridden, or make a one off donation.
Also, please feel free to call into Club Taree and make a donation at any one of the six donation points throughout the club.
We have set up a My Cause Fundraising page online at www.mycause.com.au Search for le Tour de Taree. This page will be open, taking donations until the ride is completed.
We are also seeking corporate sponsorship and have packages of $2,000, $1,000, $500, $200 and $100 available. If anyone is interested in signing up as a corporate sponsor, please feel free to contact me. Our Internal Clubs, Community Partners and Associates have also been asked to lend a hand through donations and fundraising where possible.
We have a great membership base and know our members will support us where they can.
If you can’t donate, please feel free to come into the Club and cheer us on, and offer support through motivation.

Do you have a ball park figure you’re aiming for?
We stepped out pretty boldly and have advertised the fact that we would love to raise $20,000 for Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW. We understand that this will be a challenge, but I know all of our team members will do everything we can to help raise the $20,000.
Ideally, we also want to highlight the great work that Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW does with local families.

Who would you like to acknowledge for supporting le Tour de Taree?
First of all, our staff. Anytime Fitness has come on board by donating the use of the three bikes which will be used for the event. Also, the support of our members, internal clubs, sponsored groups and partners who have been able to contribute to our fundraising.

More info …
We will be tracking our progress daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For any questions or donations, please contact me at Club Taree on 6539 4000 or email pallan@clubtaree.com.au

Thanks Paul.

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