Plant & Equipment

Quarry professionals don lycra for diabetes

On 17 January, about 300 participants cycled through South Australia’s scenic Barossa Valley as part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) annual Ride To Cure Diabetes (RTCD) event, raising more than $950,000 for type 1 diabetes research.

{{image2-a:r-w:200}}More than 30 professionals from the quarrying and construction industries were part of this group, including long-term supporters from Groundwork Plus, Boral and Neilsen’s Quality Gravels. Although the quarry industry first began supporting the event in a professional capacity with the introduction of a Boral company team 10 years ago, it is believed some individuals – also employed with Boral – have been involved since the event began in 2004.

One long-term participant is Clayton Hill, who initially started out six years ago as a cyclist with Boral and now supports the cause as the team captain for Groundwork Plus.

Hill, the principal of operations at Groundwork Plus, told Quarry that he continued to participate not only because it was a fun and enjoyable event that allowed him to reunite with fellow RTCD cyclists each year but also because he could see how his personal fundraising efforts were contributing to the search for a type 1 diabetes cure.

“Several exciting advancements have been achieved that are directly resultant of fundraising events such as the ride, including the innovation of the insulin pump,” Hill said. “Whilst I am fortunate that my family and my two boys don’t suffer from the disease, I do have friends and colleagues who are type 1 diabetics and feel strongly about supporting them to improve their quality of life.”

Quarry industry connection

The quarry industry as a whole also holds a personal connection to the cause through Sydenham Hill, who was president of the IQA from 1985 to 1986. “Syd” Hill (no relation to Clayton Hill) tragically passed away in December 2009 after suffering from diabetes, and his close friend and industry stalwart, Harry Simpson of Neilsen’s, has completed the ride on four occasions in his memory – including the most recent event.

This year, Groundwork Plus showed solidarity in honouring Syd Hill’s memory, incorporating a photo of the past IQA president on the team’s cycling jersey.

“This provided inspiration for the team, reminding us of his courage, determination and strength even when facing a disease such as diabetes,” Hill said.

JDRF is one of the world’s leading non-profit supporters of type 1 diabetes research and has invested more than $1.7 billion since 1970, including almost $160 million into Australian research.

More reading
Quarry industry rides for diabetes
Industry pedals for a cure

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