strip Yarraville cyclist a champion for children

A Kingsville cyclist is travelling 1000 kilometres in the month of October to raise money for a cause close to his heart.

Greig Kearney is participating in The Champions Ride, a Barnardos campaign which gets people on their bikes to raise money for children suffering abuse and neglect.

An abuse survivor himself, he said his earliest memories were of violence in the home.

“Dad was an aggressive and violent drunk,” Mr Kearney said

“He was what is now known as a binge drinker.

“Friday night was often the time that he came home and would be angry.”

He said his father was verbally, physically, and financially abusive.

Mr Kearney said he wished there were services like Barnardos available to him.

“As a child I wish I had some stability and believed that I was loved,” he said.

“This is going to sound terrible, but I used to wish that my own father would be killed in an industrial accident at work and that we would get some money and could ‘live happily ever after’.

“Early intervention would have helped.”

Mr Kearney said he wants his children to feel safe.

“I want to give them an arena to thrive in, to allow them to be kids and explore who they are, so they can reach their potential,” he said.

“All children should be given this opportunity.”

Last year, The Champions Ride raised close to $195,000 and participants rode more than 80,000 kilometres.

The goal for this year’s challenge is $350,000.

Mr Kearney has already ridden almost 350 kilometres and raised more than $800 of his $1500 goal.

There is still time to sign up for your own Champions Ride or to donate to campaigns like Mr Kearney’s.

Barnados advocates for the safety of children at risk of abuse and neglect, providing family support programs and services which empower children to reach their full potential.

Details: www.championsride.org.au/fundraisers/greigkearney

Article by Liam McNally

This article first appeared in The Star Weekly

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