RIDE TO WORK: Council’s pedal power rises to the top
IT’S a simple message from Clarence Valley Council staff - get on your bike.
The organisation showed it’s serious about healthy, sustainable living when it won the 2020 Biketober Business Challenge for NSW businesses and organisations with between 200 and 499 staff.
Up against 70 other similar sized entities, council finished on top with 11,808 points, which essentially meant they had the most number of staff ride the most kilometres with the most number of days in the saddle between October 1 and October 31.
The Powerhouse Museum was second on 9,372 points, while Sydney Opera House was fourth on 7,646.
The challenge is a Get Healthy at Work initiative from the NSW Government that aims to encourage healthy workplaces and improve the health of working adults.
Points are earned for every kilometre a participant rides with extra points on offer for encouraging others to ride.
Council’s community projects officer Sammy Lovejoy was the Office Champion, which is the person who sets up the account. She said she was thrilled with the positive response from her colleagues this year.
“I put us forward two years ago and in that year it was just me,” she said.
“This year it started slow, and because of covid we’re not supposed to visit other sections of council. So when I approached Peter Birch, who is the manager of open spaces and facilities, and he was able to hassle people at the depot, it took off.
“The figures show that COVID-19 restrictions have increased bike sales in the Clarence Valley and all over Australia. People are realising that active transport is great for commuting to work, your physical and mental health, and time with family and friends in our beautiful outdoors.”
Ms Lovejoy contributed 1507 points, which was the result of 277km covered across 14 days in the saddle and accumulating 950 of council’s 1650 encourager points, proving to be the major influencer for the 21 out of 450 staff who chose to participate. Of her 277km, she said 110km were during one week.
However, Blake Callen (1846) and Deanne Eaton (1595) were the highest scorers for council, with Callen punching out a total of 1326km over 26 ride days. Birch scored 1481 including 250 encourager points. David Sutton amassed 400 encourager points in his total of 1083, while Erron Hennessy pedalled 905km.
The major prize for each of the seven categories was a morning or afternoon tea, and on Monday staff enjoyed a Covid-safe outdoor morning tea at the depot in South Grafton catered by Vines at 139.
“I am so proud of my fellow Clarence Valley Council riders for their effort in Biketober 2020,” Ms Lovejoy said.
“We can’t wait to defend our title next year and encourage more riders to be involved.
“We would also love more Clarence Valley businesses to participate.”
I Scream also participated, and finished fifth overall out of 97 businesses and highest from the ‘food and beverage’ industry in the 3 to 6 staff category.
The team was headed by office champion Robyn Smith who scored 1277 of the team’s 2368 points.
Meanwhile Transport for NSW Grafton finished ninth overall and first in the ‘government and public services’ industry in the 50 to 199 staff category on 6249 points. They had 12 participants and their top performers included Brock Standfield (1402) and Dimitri Perdikaris (1036) while David Hislop (436) contributed 300 encourager points.
The Grafton branch’s points contributed to Transport for NSW’s entry in the 2000+ staff category, with 219 of the 46,386 staff employed statewide amassing a total of 106,192 points ahead of second placed Macquarie University Faculty and Staff (66,619), which employs jus 8,004 staff, and Sydney Water (54,855), which employs 2700, in third.