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Last modified: 09 Nov 2020 11:33am

Mayor Sam Broughton and Rolleston Robert Harris Cafe owner Phil Deans with their cycle helmets on and bikes in the background

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton and local business owner Phil Dean are cycling 180 kilometres from the mountains to the sea for men’s health this week.

Mayor Sam and Phil, the owner of Robert Harris Café in Rolleston, will cycle across Selwyn from Arthur’s Pass to Taumutu on the shores of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere to raise awareness of men’s health between 9-11 November.

The journey will take them from the Arthur’s Pass National Park past the majestic limestone formations at Kura Tawhiti/Castle Hill, across the patchwork of Selwyn’s farming heartland to the shores of the Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, the home of Te Taumutu Rūnanga.

Sam says men’s heath is in a difficult place, with men dying on average six years earlier than women. “And that’s largely for preventable reasons.

“Men simply don’t go to the doctor as often as women - this challenge is about raising awareness of the issues that men should be thinking about and showing that taking regular exercise can be fun as well as lifesaving’.

Sam also wants to encourage men to understand the health challenges that they might face and to encourage them reach out for help.

“Prostate and testicular cancer are key issues facing all men, but mental health has a huge impact on young men in our community. Mental health is not just about sufferers reaching out - it’s about mates and others pitching in and asking if things are okay.”

The cycle challenge is linking into Movember, the now world famous initiative designed to promote awareness of men’s health issues and encourage men to live healthy and fulfilling lives.

“We all make lifestyle choices and it’s those choices that can make a huge difference in how we go, eating well, drinking less and getting out there are the key ingredients in keeping in good mental and physical shape,” Sam adds.

Sam is being joined on the ride by Phil Dean who is sponsoring the event. “I’m delighted to be able to support this event and even more thrilled to be taking part,” Phil says.

As well as raising awareness of men’s health the team are keen to promote alternative transport so have decided to cover the distance using electric bikes.

“Investing in Selwyn’s cycle ways is a fundamental part of our plan. We’re making the connections between our towns safer and more accessible, so that people can ditch the car and take their bike to work or play,” says Sam. “Good for you and good for the environment”.

Sam and Phil’s cycle challenge will start in Rolleston aboard the iconic TranzAlpine train, one of the world’s great rail journeys, which will take them to Arthur’s Pass.  From there they’ll stop in Flock Hill, Cass, Castle Hill, Springfield, Sheffield, Darfield, Rolleston, and Leeston before finishing up in Tuamutu.

“We’d love some company on their ride”, say Sam and Phil. “If you can join us for any part of our journey, even if it’s just for a couple of miles it would be great to see you.”

To follow progress and find out where you can join the ride go to Sam’s Facebook page, or call the support team on 027 266 0753.

Sam and Phil are also joining forces with a seven-man team from Selwyn District Council who are taking part in Movember. The ‘SDC Slugs’ will be growing their moustaches for charity. If you would like to support Sam and men’s health you can donate at the SDC Slugs page.