RAFA Rides 2023: A Global Cycling Event Connecting Defence Communities
Invictus Australia and ADF Cycling co-facilitate the Royal Australian Airforce Association’s (RAFA) Global Annual Cycling event in the ACT, with participation from 11 countries worldwide and over 1,000 cyclists.
RAFA Rides 2023 turned out to be a great success, surpassing all expectations. What was initially planned for 25 riders transformed into a gathering of 70 participants, including former and current serving Defence members, family members, volunteers, and dedicated supporters from the Southern NSW and ACT region. The overwhelming response made the event even more special, as the cycling community united for an unforgettable experience.
RAFA reaches all riders
The diverse group of participants exhibited a wide range of skills, abilities, and fitness levels. Despite the varying levels of experience, every rider completed the challenge. However, it’s only natural that a few participants felt the exertion, as the route was long and offered a bit of a challenge, especially for some of the less experienced riders. But, in the end, the feeling of accomplishment and camaraderie made it all worthwhile. Truly #UnconqueredTogether.
The event was a true collaboration with ADF Cycling inviting Invictus Australia (IA) to partner with them to bring this event to life. Debbie Dimmock, Invictus Australia’s Regional Manager – Veteran Engagement in the region, worked closely with LAC Michael Gill during the planning stages and on the day of the event. IA supported bump in and out, registrations, medal distribution, and volunteer support, whose efforts were essential to the event’s seamless execution.
Reflecting on the event, some of the participants shared these thoughts:
THANK-YOU again for coordinating such an enjoyable event. I’m already looking forward to the next one.”
This sentiment echoes the excitement and enthusiasm felt by many who can’t wait to relive the experience and create more cherished memories in the future.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to you and the entire Invictus team for hosting such a fantastic event. We had a memorable time, and your hard work did not go unnoticed.” Content
Among the attendees, was a family of four who traveled all the way from the South Coast to be part of the event. This display of commitment and enthusiasm showcases the deep-rooted sense of community and connection that being involved in local sporting activities instills in participants.
A notable presence at the event was Sue McGready, Operations and Business Growth Director at Lockheed Martin Australia. Her presence acknowledged the significance of the cycling challenge in fostering connections and promoting a sense of community among the Defence personnel. We hope to see Sue at more Invictus Australia events in the future.
Overall, RAFA Rides 2023 was an incredible event that brought together veterans from diverse backgrounds and experiences, uniting them under the common banner of cycling, sport and connection. The spirit of #UnconqueredTogether shone brightly throughout the day, as participants conquered the challenges with determination and celebrated their achievements as one cohesive unit.
ADF Cycling and Invictus Australia, together with the unwavering dedication of all involved, we would hope to see the event grow and evolve, uniting nations and communities, one pedal stroke at a time.
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