Mike McRoberts set to cycle Sri Lanka for Kiwi kids

TV3 News Anchor and local Westmere local Mike McRoberts is getting on his bike next February to explore Sri Lanka’s unique country and culture while raising money for one of New Zealand’s favourite charities.

The group will cycle just over 400 kilometers in 10 days, exploring Sri Lanka’s remote regions, culinary delights, temples and unique landscapes including Udawalawe National Park – where they will search for wild elephants.

Mike says he’s grateful for the chance to help disadvantaged children get onto bikes and be active. “Combining it with travel, recreation and a bit of fitness for myself is definitely a bonus.”

“I’m hoping a fantastic group of people will join me and we’ll have a great time.”

Departing Auckland 20 February and returning 4 March 2018, the tour is planned and operated by Variety partner World Expeditions and will be led by insightful local bilingual guides. New Zealand Manager of World Expeditions Natalie Tambolash says: “Sri Lanka is such an exciting destination, with great people, culture and history and we are thrilled to be working with Variety on this challenge and helping Mike experience all it has to offer.”

This will be Variety’s fourth cycle challenge and follows in the tracks of those led by TV and radio personality Rawdon Christie, actress Antonia Prebble and Olympian Sarah Walker. Variety CEO Lorraine Taylor says it’s a positive way for everyday Kiwis to facilitate access to one of the joys of a typical Kiwi childhood for disadvantaged kids.

“A bike represents many of the best things about growing up in New Zealand - freedom, independence, fun and fitness,” says Lorraine. “Unfortunately, many New Zealand families don’t have enough for the necessities, let alone a bike.”

Since 2005, Variety has funded around 450 Avanti bikes each year for kids through the programme.

“Giving a bike to a child who would otherwise have only dreamed of owning one is a real delight, a world opens up for them. One mum sent us a photo of her son asleep in the lounge because he didn’t want to be separated from his new bike!”

Recipients of the bikes are children who have overcome adverse circumstances, in some situations the family is simply not in a position to purchase a bike. In other cases the programme recognises and rewards children who are role models at their school or in their community.

Purchase tickets: $6,090 per cyclist via www.worldexpeditions.com