Inspiring Stories

It is constantly amazing to hear what others have done or achieved. We would like to share some of these inspiring stories. There are more on the way. Please tell us of others from Life Cycle who could feature here.

JULIE COVICH  (6th OnRoad)

Update: Julie survived huge swell and cut 3.5 hours off her previous time amid an exciting event that included a sinking boat, propellor injury and a shark sighting that had many swimmers removed from the water. Well done Julie….and she raised $1400 for CanTeen. 

I have been asked to write a short story about my Rotto Solo swim in 17 sleeps.
Firstly I just want to mention I am definitely NOT an elite athlete and started swimming around 15 years ago for health reasons, which I still need to do, therefore if I don’t have goals, I am just swimming around aimlessly which is not my thing.
Since 2010 I have successfully achieved 3 Team Rotto crossings, an English Channel Team crossing, a Duo Rotto Crossing and finally last year a Rotto Solo which honestly took everything I had to get there. My husband & I have four grown adult children, one of whom had Leukaemia at the age of 3, he is now 26.
This year I will be attempting a back to back Rotto Solo crossing and with the support of my family and friends I know I have trained endlessly, whilst swimming approx 30kms a week. During my swim this year when it gets TUFF, I will not only be thinking of my family & friends & coaches who have supported me, I will also be thinking about the young adults I have met through CanTeen over the last five years I have been doing the Life Cycle OnRoad ride.
These young people I have had the privilege to ride & chat with and get to know have been nothing but inspirational.
The courage they show at such a young age to get through chemo sometimes over & over again is remarkable. Whilst losing good friends to Cancer along the way or a brother, sister, mum, dad etc, and their ability to carry on in life with the support they get from each other within CanTeen especially for bereavement, is achieved nowhere else and I know they feel within CanTeen everyone gets it and they are not alone.
Yes I will be thinking of them and drawing on their courage/attitude and I know I have nothing to lose except not having a go.
If you would like to support my swim please log onto my everyday hero page on Rottnest Channel Swim Association.


LISA DOBRIN (8th OnRoad)

Since I was a little kid I always wanted to:

(a) help people
(b) inspire others
(c) change the world

I’ve achieved these aspirational goals in small ways, but I continue to strive to leave a legacy of a longer-term impact for as many beings as possible.

And so in late 2017, Mudita Inc. was born. It’s Mission to: ‘create opportunities for individuals, families & communities to live a better life.’

Mudita Inc.’s first project is partnering with Shine UK/Shine Zambia to support their Vision of an Africa in which every child can read & write. Mudita Inc.’s 3-year goal is to build a 2nd Literacy School in Zambia.  In 2018, all funds donated to Mudita Inc. will go towards supporting the existing operations of Shine Zambia’s Reading Academy.

This is my WHY; my purpose and reason for recently conquering the Gillespie-Rabbit Pass–trekking 100km over 7 days up, down, across and through 5 of New Zealand’s most spectacular mountain ranges.

It’s also what focused and motivated me to complete and achieve the fundraising/charity adventures and challenges achieved below:

Date Event/ Location Charity Fundraised
Dec-Jan 2017/18 Mt Aspiring trek – 8 days/Rabbit & Gillespie Passes (100km) – New Zealand Mudita Inc. $?
Nov 2017 Established Mudita Inc. Mudita Inc.
Sept 2016 Great Wall trek SANE Oz $5k/$90k
Sept 2015 Moscow Marathon (42.2km) Canteen $5k
Mar 2009-2018 (-2) On-Road (250-300km) Canteen $?
Oct 2013 Mt. Kilimanjaro trek – 8 days HATW $6.5k
Mar 2012 Tandem skydive – York JDF Diabetes $3k
Jan 2011 Thailand bike ride – Bangkok-Khao Lak (800km) HATW $13k
May 2006 World’s Greatest Shave Leukemia Foundation $1,900

“At the end of life, what really matters is not what we bought but what we built;

not what we got but what we shared; not our competence but our character;

and not our success, but our significance.  Live a life that matters.  Live a life of love.” -Bessi

The last two years have been something of a highlight for me in terms of ticking off some bucket list items.

In 2016 I reached my goal of 25,000km on the bike for the year, and also managed to get 2nd place in the Delirium 24 hour race with 486km.

Going into the Delirium last year I set myself a target of 500km, and whilst I can’t say that it was easy, I finished with 523km. I’m pretty sure that’s my 24hr limit!

In 2017 I also ticked off the 5 Dams Challenge (this was a big one for me as I am not a fan of hills). I threw a bit of running and swimming into the mix, and completed the Busselton 70.3 Ironman event.

Another highlight of the year was my 4th LifeCycle for Canteen event, where I jumped into brown group for the first time ever for some of the legs. Fantastic cause with an awesome bunch of people.

Although I purposely didn’t set a distance goal on the bike knowing that I wanted to run and swim as well to do the 70.3, in the back of my mind I was aiming for 21K. My plan of riding less didn’t really work out well and I ended the year with just under 25K.

I have just returned from a trip to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under, and I have to say that it was awesome (despite the heat, with temperatures in the mid-40°s for five days straight). I conquered Mt Lofty on our first day there, and Norton Summit on the second day. Surprisingly, for someone who previously dreaded anything with even a slight elevation, I actually really enjoyed heading to the hills.

I would have to say that one of the best things about cycling is the opportunities available to get involved in some charity rides such as Life Cycle for CanTeen. It’s the chance for me to give back to the community, by doing something that I love. I have participated in four Life Cycle events, and four Prostate Active rides (which raises funds and awareness of prostate cancer, a cause which is close to my heart as my father is a survivor). Just listening to the stories of those whose lives have been affected by cancer, as well as seeing the hard work that all of those involved put in, is a true inspiration and pushes you to keep on going when the going gets tough.

In a nutshell, I love my cycling and I hope that my passion for it can inspire others to take it up. I really believe that it’s a great way to keep fit, to make new friends and to make the world a better place. I may be a little biased though 😉



“Just hold your line and your speed; don’t stop!”. Our first lesson in navigating the way out of New Delhi as we started a 3,000km cycle tour through western India. And so we were able to slowly trust the motorcyclists and their various passengers coming the wrong way, the 4 lanes of tuk-tuks, teetering small trucks, camel drawn carts, pedestrians and Atlas bicycles with thin moustachioed men in sandals. And as we learnt to trust the roads, we were then able to take in the sights, smells, generosity, noise, and history of the villages, towns and cities were cycled through.

The almost spiritual beauty of the Taj Mahal, the power and opulence of the Amber Fort at Jaipur, lines of military travelling to the Pakistan border, chai stops every day, road families living in abject poverty, smiling children immaculately dressed in new school uniforms in every village, street food that tantalised our senses, enormous colourful palaces, rooms with incomprehensible wiring, Bollywood on the telly, then the cows, dogs and oxen meandering everywhere though the chaos of the roads and highways. Mostly the roads were potholed and the terrain hilly for the last 3 weeks, climbing over 1,000 meters each day through mystical Ajanta, colonial Mumbai and tropical Goa. We lived ‘in the moment’ every day with 30 other cyclists in a trip of a life time.

And now, we are soon to head on another trip of a life time, with a special connection to Canteen. We will join Jennifer, David, Paul and Adriana on 4 single bikes and 1 tandem to cycle the pilgrimage trail of the Camino; 900 km from southern France to the Atlantic coastal town of Finisterre (The End of the Earth in pre-Colombus times) in northern Spain. A pilgrimage in many ways; Jennifer’s and David’s teenage son, a cancer survivor, guiding our trip.

Editor’s note: All those mentioned above will ride in the OnRoad in March. Anthony and Adriana, who is vision impaired, have ridden tandem together for 25 years.


Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2018 Commonwealth Games

NIGEL SANTA MARIA (3rd OnRoad, Team Parma)

I am honoured and privileged to be running in the up and coming 2018 Commonwealth Games baton relay in recognition for my work in the community and my fundraising.

(Nigel will run on 25 Feb at 16:15 from cnr W Coast Dr and Beacton St, North Beach.)

I only started riding about 10 years ago when I purchased a carbon road bike and did my first charity ride for MSWA, which I instantly got hooked on with regards to cycling, community, fundraising, volunteering, but more importantly about how I can make a difference to raise the awareness of various causes.

Through cycling, I have made many friends and have had some amazing experiences, including travelling to France (twice) and Italy, riding some amazing mountains, some into different countries, with the highlight being riding the Stelvio Pass in 2017. I ride four times a week and am part of the Malaga Cycling Group on Saturdays. It was through this Group, we formed the ‘Team Parma’ who rides on Sundays.

Together with my cycling buddies, we have so far raised over $100,000 for various organisations. I now only do rides where the majority of funds like CanTeen, and MSWA stay within WA.


JENNY ARAMINI (19th OnRoad, 6 OffRoad)

Thanks to Nigel’s nomination, I am also carrying the baton for a leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay on February 24 at 14:27 from The Old Mill in South Perth, in recognition of my services to CanTeen since 1998. In that time 18 OnRoad and 6 OffRoad events have resulted in a donation to Canteen WA that will this year pass $1.5 million.


NORM HAMMOND (12 OnRoad events as rider/caterer)

Norm is currently in the eastern states for 70 days across Australia as a driver with the Queens Baton Relay. He will also carry the baton on 26 Feb at 17:20pm from 70-97 Terrace Rd Guildford.

Norm has organised many teams to compete in the Black Rock Stakes and in the Balzano Barrow Race, organised numerous other fundraising  events for several charities, run many school leadership camps, catered for Life Cycle and much more. He has driven for the 2000 Olympic Torch Relay (and run with the torch) and the 2006 Melbourne Baton Relay.