New company, Viva Energy Australia has saddled up for the MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer which supports cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth.
The company’s CEO, Scott Wyatt, who is based in Melbourne, says 12 staff members will be joining the Ride. The team includes three Viva Energy employees who are being flown to WA after winning an internal, national competition to raise awareness and donations for medical research at the Perkins.
The MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer is one of the Perkins major fundraising events. This weekend, on October 17 and 18, more than 1,000 cyclists will ride more than 200km, starting and finishing at McCallum Park, with an overnight camp in Mandurah.
The Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Professor Peter Leedman congratulated Viva Energy on its sponsorship and participation.
“Without companies like Viva Energy we wouldn’t be able to carry out vital research to find new treatments for cancer,” he said. “Donations made to the Ride are put to use immediately in our laboratories.”
Viva Energy, which was launched following last year’s purchase of most of Shell’s Australian downstream business, supplies about 25% of Australia’s total fuel requirements.
Mr Wyatt will be riding alongside his wife, Sharon, whose mother and father both died at the young age of 59 from cancer.
“Sharon’s mother battled breast cancer for nearly 10 years and her father succumbed to colon cancer. With this family history, we have always had an interest in cancer and genetic research. Over the last couple of years I have also had a number of close friends diagnosed with cancers. We've shared their ups and downs as they have treatment, and in July we had to say goodbye to a wonderful neighbour,” Mr Wyatt said.
“We live in a world where so many health problems can be treated and cured, yet despite these advances, it seems that there remains so much more than can be done to overcome the effects of cancer on individuals, families and friends,” he said.
Viva Energy was introduced to the cycling event by Team MACA, the naming sponsor for the Ride to Conquer Cancer in WA.
“I was inspired by Geoff Baker’s (MACA Executive Director of Operations) personal commitment to this cause and the way this passion influences others in MACA to support the Ride. As a long term supplier to MACA, I felt it was a great opportunity for our relatively new company to join with them behind this great cause and present an opportunity for others in our business to put something back into the community,” Mr Wyatt said.
Mr Wyatt said the ride would be a challenge as he and his wife had not been on their bikes for many years, although they had been training hard in recent months.