March 2015: KONA Group helps raise $452,000 for disabled young Australians

On March the 8th, after 9 days in the saddle, we finally rode across the finish line in Sydney to be greeted by family, friends, the young disabled people and staff from Fighting Chance, Members of Parliament and sponsors It had been a marvelous week where we had averaged over 120 kms a day and battled with very sore backsides, headwinds, high and low temperatures, huge trucks and grey nomads puling caravans, potholes, flat tyres and a multitude of other daily challenges However this was all worthwhile as last week the final numbers came in and with the assistance of a vast array of contacts, colleagues and friends we’ve raised an incredible $452,905 through the Tour. 2015 Tour photo This is an amazing amount of money that will enable Fighting Chance to create a huge number of opportunities for young adults with a disability and take the number of people FC care for from 40 to 120! In 2014, we raised $345,000 so in only 2 short year we have raised over a $750,000 and we can’t thank you enough for all of your support, donations and goodwill, as you have certainly helped us to make a difference Best regards, Glenn Check out Fighting Chance COO Jordan O’Reilly discussing how your donations will make a difference at

3 Weeks to Go to Make a Real Difference to Someone’s Life

In under 3 weeks I’ll be joining a group of 22 cyclists to ride 1,100 kms from Brisbane to Sydney to raise money to purchase equipment for young Australians with major disabilities. Training is going well and before or after work I am trying to get a ride in most days, plus with a lot of leg strength work in the gym. We will average about 120kms a day and one big advantage is the ride doesn’t include a 4km swim before and a 42 kms Marathon run after each day’s ride as I do in an Ironman Plus Brisbane to Sydney is down hill!! We set off early on Saturday 28 February from Brisbane, arriving in Sydney on Sunday March 8 and if you would like to join us we have one place left. Please just call Glenn on 0425 200883 or email me on [email protected] If you can’t join us on the ride could you please support the cause and donate at https://www.tourdechance.com.au/glenndobson Every dollar will go to these young people in the video below Many people have asked why are we putting ourselves through 9 days of sweat, aching bodies and sore backsides I am doing the ride to raise money for Fighting Chance, who provide innovative work programs for youths and young adults with disabilities. Unfortunately far too many young and adult Australians with significant disabilities continue to lack opportunities to engage in purposeful and fulfilling education, skill development and work experience activities. To create these opportunities, Fighting Chance has developed a unique and individualised model of work hubs to get people of all abilities working. These work hubs focus on designing work programs suitable to each person’s individual skills and abilities. All the money raised by the Tour de Chance will used to triple the numbers of people with a disability employed within the Fighting Chance social enterprises from 40 to 120. People like Lia, Jo and Nick in this video My personal target is to raise $10,000 for Fighting Chance and to achieve this I would love your support for this worthiest of causes by sponsoring me for the ride. To sponsor me (which is fully tax deductible), please just follow this link: https://www.tourdechance.com.au/glenndobson. You will receive a tax receipt and the funds will be forwarded directly to Fighting Chance and from that site you can also learn more about the amazing opportunities that Fighting Chance creates. In addition, the KONA Group is donating 10% from every training and coaching program booked in February or March for one of their Call Centre Training, Sales Training, Sales Management Training  and Coaching and customised Customer Service training courses On behalf of the KONA Group, Tour de Chance and the Fighting Chance teams, thank you again for your support.

KONA Group helps raise $345,000 for young Australians with disabilities

In 2015 KONA Group will be again raising funds for young people with significant disabilities. In February Managing Director Glenn Dobson will cycle 1,100 kms from Brisbane to Sydney to raise funds for young people with significant disabilities including cerebral palsy and autism. Last year KONA helped raise over $345,000 which DOUBLED the number of young people Fighting Chance, a local Australian Charity, were able to support as well as purchase equipment, adapted wheel chairs, vehicles and other much needed resources If you can’t join us on the ride can you please support the cause and donate at https://www.tourdechance.com.au/#/glenndobson Every dollar will go to these young people Fighting Chance For more information on Fighting Chance please check out https://www.tourdechance.com.au/#/cause

Day 10 – Going Home

After a very funny Mexican evening in Nelson Bay and a belly full of Burritos to blow us home we set off yet again into a dawn of clear skies…   Today we had another ferry to catch across the river into Newcastle.  A brisk pace was set and off we went.  Little did Peter Eborn know it would be the day to take out the Black Hand award with multiple punctures and a stack when trying to take path space from big Stevie G… img_3283 Newcastle held a few surprises,  over the hill to Bar Beach and onto Merewether.  The need to concentrate was paramount as walking obstacles proved highly distracting.  Just about as distracting as Byron Bay!!  Onwards – the beautiful Fernleigh bike path for 20kms before making Blue Wren Drive to Elizabeth Bay.  A significant milestone of 1,000 kms pedalled and the whisper came through that the fundraising target had been achieved.  A very satisfying stop for lunch at Lizzies of Elizabeth Bay. 20140307_133752 You will notice my bike in this photo.  From a distance it looks like an impressive Ironman Time Trial bike, however after 1,100 kms up close it rattles and squeaks and clearly it is in need of a new ‘engine’. After this event, in 8 weeks time it will be responsible for carrying me 180 kms in the Australian Ironman at Port Macquarie. One posed the question as to who rattles and squeaks the most – Bike or Rider??? The afternoon concluded with one more flat tyre for Peter E, this time a wheel replacement was in order and on we rolled into The Entrance and a private awards ceremony.  Not before one last post ride rehydration session. 2014-03-07-14-50-16 Start of day 10 came with a beautiful sunrise and 6.30am departure for the last time…   This was to be a day of reflection, taking it all in and thinking about what we had achieved. 2014-03-08-06-44-05 Strict ride instructions were issued,  “Stay tight boys, keep the PODs together, lets get home safely…   Did Pod One listen or was this one last chance for a 33kmph pedal… 39kms to Ettalong for the Ferry and our last bakery stop. 20140308_090113 2014-03-08-10-07-17   Off the ferry on to the Palm Beach route… this is training territory….  Newport Hill – Easy!… A stop off at Mona Vale Quality Meats for Rod and Steve to meet family and friends, then into Narrabeen to Tim’s house and a wonderful photo with his daughter Ashleigh. The inspiration behind Tim which led to this great event img_6010 We are all getting very excited… Back on the training route to South Steyn Surf Club and the Group MANLY Photo to bookend the trip…  we had made it!  Manly to Manly… Up Lauderdale Avenue to the Spit for a group photo and waiting for the word from Paul to roll down Battle Boulevarde over the Spit Bridge and into final 100 m and over the finish line. 2014-03-08-12-46-44 Day 10 was a real mix of emotions – anticipation, satisfaction, accomplishment, relief, pride, gratitude, and a nagging sense of something between disappointment and loss from knowing that this journey was ending and that this group of 25 Fighting Chance 2014 team members would in all likelihood never be together again. But the sweetest sensation for me was seeing the faces of my family and those of the Fighting Chance members who we were raising funds for as we pedalled into Mosman – pure joy!!! I’m sure every one felt the same, one amazing crusade led by Tim, one fine pair of siblings leading Fighting Chance… One final group photo and a lovely way to say good bye… No more pedalling to do!!….. STATISTICS
  • 1,109.3 kilometers travelled
  • 9,013 meters climbed
  • 44hrs and 9mins in the saddle
  • 25.18kmph average pace
  • sausage rolls eaten???
  • Over $250,000 raised…
and a final note…. You can still donate…..   or even donate again at https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG THANK YOU ALL!!!! Glenn To donate please go to https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of the KONA Group and raising funds for Fighting Chance, a charity that supports young people with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. For more information on KONA’s sales and sales management training and coaching courses in Sydney or Melbourne Australia, or how you can donate to our Brisbane to Sydney ride please call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]

Day 8 – Crashes, Climbs and Collapses

Day 8 dawned misty in Taree and we had already left by 6am. Gotta 2.30pm ferry to catch so we left focused on no slips ups and no one late… photo7 For Pod One things usually go according to plan, but today…. not quite. It started with the call to rollout at 6.00am and “where’s Eric?…” Not sure but it soon transpired that Eric was doing something that he should have done a little earlier… Out of the darkness looking quite embarrassed he appeared and 5 minutes later we were off… straight in to a lung busting hill We settled down to push some miles out of the days ride – into the single file pace line on the Pacific Highway, grinding hard, then bang!! Damo has punctured again… Not a great experience at 30kph img_1175 Puncture repaired off we hit a lengthy rise on the Highway… pace line pulling… Tim Smeallie doing email on his iPhone and woahhh!!! over the handle bars he goes Big Stevie G and Graeme just avoid riding over his bike and Tim himself…. We pick him up out of the roadside debris, dust him off, give him some HTFU tablets and establish nothing broken with bike or rider… That was a close call.. no more riding, listening to music and doing emails for Tim before we get back to Sydney. Today was turning into a real hard slog backing up from yesterday’s long 152kms pull into Taree.. All groups pressed on making serious dents in the schedule headed for Bulahdelah. Off the highway and onto Wooton Way and a very serious hill climb photo-25 One big hill was the warm up for the real thing, and then we charged into the segment known on Strava as Wooton Top Half… wooton A hard grind and over the summit and down into Bulahdelah nearly 2 hours ahead of schedule. So what did the boys do while they relaxed… Stevie G got a hair cut and manicure! I filled up on a veggie pie and Chad fell off his bike in a car park!! img_2585 Back on the bikes and 15kms of dirt track riding (NOT a great experience when you are riding a Triathlon Time Trial bike) to the Bombah Point Ferry and then 27kms into Tea Gardens for the ferry to Nelson Bay. Highlight of the trip for me was standing up in front of all passengers on the ferry and passing the hat round as the passengers donated to our great cause 20140306_142040

“How Much?”

Coming to you from the Halifax Holiday park in Nelson Bay… Time to hit the rack, refresh the legs and be ready for some pedalling first thing tomorrow. Getting close to Sydney but still a couple of instalments to go… Get organised and be down at the Spit in Mosman on Saturday to welcome us home. The highlight of the Fighting Chance Summer Festival. We aim to arrive around 1pm… Oh, and ‘Go Souths!’ A great win from the South Yorkshire Rabbitohs sufest_thumb To donate please go to https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of the KONA Group and raising funds for Fighting Chance, a charity that supports young people with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. For more information on KONA’s sales and sales management training and coaching courses in Sydney or Melbourne Australia, or how you can donate to our Brisbane to Sydney ride please call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]

Day 7 – ‘Big Wednesday’

After two quiet days on the road, day seven was always going to be the toughest day of the tour, a 152kms ride from Crescent Head to Taree. The build up last night involved all the correct nutrition of an athlete – a Chinese meal and a couple of schooners. This was a nice change to the usual steak and chips we have been used to during the tour. After a good feed all riders got there heads down early ready for ‘Big Wednesday’. We set off in the dark at 6.30 with a cool mist still settling in the valleys and no sunrise photo for the blog… Nev and Col provided Salami and Cucumber sandwiches, which led to many riders witnessed passing wind and belching for the first 25 kms!!! The morning had previously started well with Tim banging on the door of the young ones to wake them up and get them into shape early. This worked for the best part of half hour, when 20kms into the day the front support (Paul & Charles) misjudged a few turns and forgot to use the radios. Nothing too major, just a very confused nineteen riders. The last member of the young ones didn’t take to well to Tim’s early wake up. We rode on part of the Port Macquarie Ironman Triathlon course today past the camels and I thought bugger it, time to ride with the ‘big boys’ in the fast group, even though they are in reality quite light, skinny and a lot younger than me We took off and I put my angry race head on and averaged just under 30 kms an hours for 150 kms! I hit the lead of the front group when we got onto the Ironman course and absolutely hammered it Great practise for May’s Ironman – a 4km swim then a 180kms bike race followed immediately by a 42kms marathon Jordy, who already has had some issues on the road, came up trumps again. He managed to puncture his tyre twice within the first 60kms, the second puncture causing the biggest drama. Jordy was cycling with a bulge coming out the side of his tyre, when the wheel locked he thought it would be a good idea to pull over and find the problem. The team joined him and when Rod put his hand up to help with the flat, the front tyre on Jordan’s bike exploded, giving Rod a numb hand and sent Simon Noakes into the bushes with fright. The punctures held the third pod back quite significantly, however they are pretty used to that riding with Jordy. ‘Big Wednesday’ will mark a significant point in the Tour de Chance. All riders will have completed the biggest day of the tour, however, this does not mean an easy run into Sydney. The final 324kms will test us all with some very steep climbs (which with my size I always have to work extra hard on compared to the lighter smaller blokes) and this is where it is important that we keep our nutrition and recovery up (As I speak a few of the team are heading to the local RSL to ‘rehydrate’) Our riders love hearing messages of support from you and we also love your donations as EVERY cent us going to the people with disabilities at Fighting Chance Your donations are going to have significant impact on the lives of people with severe disabilities so please help us get as much money into an organisation that is doing amazing things. Come on guys three days to go, so send us a message! To donate please go to https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of the KONA Group and raising funds for Fighting Chance, a charity that supports young people with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. For more information on KONA’s sales and sales management training and coaching courses in Sydney or Melbourne Australia, or how you can donate to our Brisbane to Sydney ride please call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]

Day 5 – Highways, Hangovers and Hunger

Day 5 is completed and we are now just over half way through our Brisbane to Sydney fund raiser So far everything has amazingly been running smoothly, both on the road and with the day to day organisation of moving 19 cyclists from town to town at speeds of up to 70 kms an hour (downhill admittedly!) This morning the clouds had cleared, except for a few of the team who had taken to ‘rehydrating’ with serious vigour last night! Bike maintenance was the order of the day after yesterdays ride through wet, mud and cow pooh… Today we even had the luxury of a late start and a ‘real’ breakfast instead of the normal fare of ham and a cheese roll on the bike We headed off to the Old Butter Factory for breakfast,  a treat for any of you travelling the Mid North Coast.  The owner even donated 10% of the bill to Fighting Chance… great bloke!! Day-5 Food of course is what gives us the fuel we need to pedal all day.  Basically we eat as much of what we like, when we like and spend most of the ride munching on bananas, sports bars and gels, and Gatorade to keep our energy up I also take natural supplements like 3Cordyceps (https://www.3cordyceps.com/) The 65km ‘rest and recovery’ ride through Urunga, Hungry Head, Valla and Macksville was scenic, hilly and very enjoyable. The highway sections were hectic and required maximum concentration as huge trucks, retirees pulling caravans and speeding vehicles raced past us Lunch was in Macksville on the Nambucca River, a town populated by real characters – one of which commented in a long slow drawl when looking at one rider resting on the grass   “Looks like the fat one’s dead!!!…” Macksville also has the Star Hotel – a great Cold Chisel venue for the over 50s. We rode through some lovely country side and visited the coastal highlights such as Hungry Head and ended up at Scotts Head caravan park and had an afternoon swim to soothe the aching legs – gotta love that! Happy birthday to Steve Grant of Vision Personal Training Mona Vale in Mona Vale who celebrated his 35th on tour. Still riding well for an old feller! While we are all enjoying the challenge our thoughts regularly go back to the reason we are doing this On the Fighting Chance website at www.fightingchance.com.au reference is made to the connection that the riders have made with the Fighting Chance patients following the Team scarf/bandana presentation that we held just prior to the ride. It was a simple idea that has had an extraordinary impact on the connectedness of the team to the Fighting Chance patients – and the riders are are thrilled to continue getting regular messages of support and encouragement from the individual patients that presented them with their scarf/bandana. Glenn Dobson Thanks again to those of you who have so generously donated. One more request though…. can you please take a second or two to think of 2 or 3 people who you know who may be interested in following the Tour and connect them to the cause. We really are working to try and raise awareness and support for Fighting Chance. Many thanks again! Warm wishes from Scotts Head and more updates tomorrow…… To donate please go to https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of the KONA Group and raising funds for Fighting Chance, a charity that supports young people with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. For more information on KONA’s sales and sales management training and coaching courses in Sydney or Melbourne Australia, or how you can donate to our Brisbane to Sydney ride please call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]

Day 6 – How to burn 6,000 calories in one day

One of the biggest challenges to multi day events is how to eat and drink enough to keep the body functioning under immense physical pressure, especially when you are on the move all of the time and don’t feel like eating. On an average working day most people burn around 2,500 calories. Yesterday I burnt over 6,000 on one days ride, which if I wasn’t eating on the bike and at each break, would create a major physical problem as my body would start to shut down Starting with a high carb breakfast I nibble every 10-15 minutes on bananas, power bars, meal replacement drinks like Nutrastart, muesli bars, Growling Dogs, veggie mite sandwiches, oranges, snakes and other delicacies. Then at each break I have tried vegetable pies, toast, smoothies, quiche, ham and cheese sandwiches, and more Today though I made the mistake of eating 2 sushi rolls which was a BIG mistake as, though high in carbs (fuel), they don’t digest well at 30 kms an hour. Cycling tip of the day – don’t ride behind a cyclist who won’t stop and throws up while pedalling! No more needs to be said Today is a 70 kms ‘rest and recovery’ day and we have arrived in Crescent Head after a relatively quiet day on tour. With time to reflect, the team have put together the best five moments of the tour for you to enjoy. 1, Two days in, apparently the six radios, two support cars, four support crew and nineteen riders was not enough to warn Yours Truly of a wooden bridge. The story goes that I rolled over whilst thinking about my nutrition routine when I get my front wheel stuck in between the wooden slats and fall off my bike nearly going over the edge of the bridge. 2, Peter ‘The Beaver’ Bevis, decides to introduce himself to the co founder of Fighting Chance, Jordan O’Reilly, in style. Whilst riding through beautiful country lanes surrounded by rolling hills and stunning crop fields, Jordan deciders to take a bite of his Carman’s muesli bar to give him a bit of energy to get through the last 10kms, at the same time Pete is trying hard to avoid the cow dung littered across the road, unfortunately Pete makes a slight misjudgement and rides straight through nice fresh cow dung which flicks up right into Jordan’s mouth. Apparently cow dung doesn’t compliment muesli bars in any way shape or form. 3, Pod One, a group that has come into their own over the last few days, made up of experienced riders who are eating up the kilometres on this tour. Being up at the front, they spend the majority of the time with the front support crew who are on hand to give out directions. After a stop in Macksville Tim speaks with the front support crew and informs them that the riders will not need directions saying “if anyone gets lost here they deserve to be lost”. As we head off the front support crew stops off at Woolworth’s to get the shopping done for a bbq that evening, only to look around and see a group of six riders circling the woolies car park trying to find their way. 4, Greg Rector drew first blood for the cause today, however not in heroic style. With only 5kms to go a bridge appears for Greg to overcome, after hearing stories from Glenn Dobson, Greg decides that it might be best to walk it. This also proved to be a problem, Greg jumps off his bike walks across the bridge only to fall over in front of a car that stops within feet of Greg. Luckily Kim was on hand with cameras to capture the moment. 5, Finally, nothing can beat Kim’s tremendous effort with his waterproofing. The irony of wearing a high vis, waterproof jacket to dinner in a pub was there for all to see when the moment Kim was peer pressured into removing the jacket, The Beaver Pete Bevis dropped his full, cold beer all over Kim. Well done boys. The team will need your messages of support more than ever for tomorrow, a 152kms ride is in front of us, going from Crescent Head to Taree. Please connect with us and keep sending your messages of support and donations as we get through the second half of the tour. We look forward to seeing you at the Summer Festival at the Spit Reserve in Mosman to welcome the riders home at around 1pm Cheers, Glenn To donate please go to https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of the KONA Group and raising funds for Fighting Chance, a charity that supports young people with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. For more information on KONA’s sales and sales management training and coaching courses in Sydney or Melbourne Australia, or how you can donate to our Brisbane to Sydney ride please call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]

Day 4 – Cow Pats, Toothless Bikies and Sore Behinds

Breakfast this morning in Grafton (where are all of the people? – it is a ghost town) – was a change from the Ham and Cheese rolls produced by Nev and Col every morning….  McDonald food of champions – 24 very hungry customers at 6.30am in the morning, certainly gave the 2 girls on service some real challenges,  perhaps we should have called ahead!!! Our day is well planned around regular stops to regroup and refuel and first stop this morning was at the bakery at Glenreagh where Nev our support driver was handing out apples. A fairly old and crusty biker (as in motor biker) rolled up and Nev wandered over and asked if he could have a photo with him.  The biker goes “why…” Nev says, “well we are a charity called Fighting Chance raising funds for disabled children and I just wondered if I could have a photo with you….   You can have an apple if you want….” The bikie responds…  “an apple,  why do I want an apple, I’ve got no F$&$%g  teeth!!!” One of our riders, John Maguire has given Col and Nev $50 so each day they can buy him a packet of frozen peas to ease his saddle sores for when we finish each day. However much to Johns disgust the money is being spent on ice to keep the beer cold We have now cycled 500 kms and after 4 days on the road it isn’t getting any easier. The Young Bulls are flying however us Old Bulls are hanging in there and chasing them up those hills As one bloke said when we rolled into Sawtel just South of Coffs Harbour – “Sawtel, sore legs and sore arse” Last 20 kms today were on very rough cow manure covered country roads. One of us had just opened up a Power Bar when the bike in front went through a fresh green cow pat and splashed it up all over the bar chewing bloke behind! Not sure if that flavour will catch on. Last scene of the day was Jordan ‘rehydrating’ on Fat Yak and he is going to have a really tough day tomorrow!! To donate please go to https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of the KONA Group and raising funds for Fighting Chance, a charity that supports young people with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. For more information on KONA’s sales and sales management training and coaching courses in Sydney or Melbourne Australia, or how you can donate to our Brisbane to Sydney ride please call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]

Day 3 – 150kms and the Beaver is Back

Hi all, Today’s update is a bit brief as we had a 9 hour journey riding 147kms in testing conditions. It was hot, windy and busy (see the stats below) The day got off to a bit of a late start with everyone moving a little slowly after the birthday celebrations last evening but once again spirits were lifted thanks to a sensational sunrise. After a quick stop for a photo at the Ballina Big Prawn we were on our way. Apart from me nearly falling over the edge of a bridge yesterday when my tyre got stuck inbetween wooden planks, we had our first fall for the ride when Tim hit the deck (literally) walking his bike onto the car ferry at South Ballina. Everyone made the ride safely and in good spirits – if not pretty fatigued. I expect that we will be in bed not much past sunset tonight. Another testing day tomorrow with the ride to Coffs and Sawtell, and then onto Bellingen for the night. Lots of hill climbing! How do we know that we are successfully getting the Fighting Chance message out there? Well today we got an indication. One of the riders (Kim McD) walked onto a shop in Maclean and was stopped by a guy who saw his Tour jersey and said “I saw you guys on tele and you are doing great work – keep it up”. Now with no disrespect to the fine people of Maclean, but it is not a major regional town let alone a thriving metropolis, but if the message is registering here, then we are on the right track- all good!! For those of you waiting for the ride to start before making your donation – now would be a good time to show your support. Those ‘New Donation” messages work wonders on restoring the energy levels!! To donate please go to https://makingadifference.gofundraise.com.au/page/DobsonG Glenn Dobson is the Managing Director of the KONA Group and raising funds for Fighting Chance, a charity that supports young people with cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. For more information on KONA’s sales and sales management training and coaching courses in Sydney or Melbourne Australia, or how you can donate to our Brisbane to Sydney ride please call 1300 611 288 or email [email protected]