On Sunday, 12 cyclists will embark upon the toughest seven day non-competitive cycling challenge in Australia to support Teen Rescue Foundation. Drew Tuckwell has spent the past three-and-a-half years establishing the Wine Peloton 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge. This is his story.
As a 46 year old, I have had a pretty good life. Better than pretty good. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, I wouldn’t really have a lot to complain about or regret. Obviously, I would be more than a little disappointed at not being able to watch my family grow up and that sort of thing, but you know what I mean. I have not have to deal with tragedy, lack of opportunity, I haven’t had to live on struggle street, no one has been cruel to me, I have enjoyed good health. There are a lot of people in the world, in my neighbourhood, that cannot say the same thing. So I have realised that the one thing that is missing from my life is that I haven’t really given back, I haven’t reached out far enough to help other people deal with some of life’s obstacles. If I was to be hit by a bus tomorrow, my biggest regret would be that I have not given back.
If I was to be hit by a bus tomorrow, my biggest regret would be that I have not given back
I love cycling. For so long I didn’t have a genuine hobby. Wine has always been my biggest hobby. It is also my profession. Everyone probably needs an interest outside of work. I have made cycling mine. I came to thinking one day about how I could combine my love of cycling with my desire to give back. It was about this time that Tyson Stelzer was busily organising the wine community to raise funds for people around the country in desperate need of assistance. The response he got was amazing. He was also taking a very proactive role in the responsible consumption of alcohol and educating teenagers and parents about managing alcohol in social situations. I have always considered Tyson the conscience of the wine community. So I rang Tyson and we had a discussion about whether we could collaborate to galvanise the wine community to give back to the broader community. That was three-and-a-half years ago. There have been a few false starts along the way.
Tyson has established the Teen Rescue Foundation and that has been no easy task. However, his unrelenting desire to ensure it becomes a reality will make sure that the lives of people in the broader community will be better off as a result of its existence. His efforts will ensure that tragedy is avoided, that people are steered away from struggle street, that harm does not come to them – all of which may not have occurred due the reckless and irresponsible consumption of alcohol and drugs. In recent times we have seen the tragedy that has occurred on our city streets as a result of random violence, often implicating alcohol consumption as a contributing factor. I cannot help feeling that for the perpetrators of this violence, society has failed them by not educating and guiding them in responsible behaviour. As a consequence, these people have failed society in their actions and the ensuing tragedy. I am hopeful, as I am sure Tyson is as well, that through funding the Teen Rescue Foundation, the wine community will play a very active role in reducing the harmful effects of the irresponsible consumption of alcohol through education and providing guidance to teenagers, by preventing tragedies because young people make better decisions and they live with compassion and respect.
Just as it is vitally important for wine brands to have a story, be passionate about it and be able to communicate it to consumers, I think it is the same for any organisation, even a fundraising cycling event. The Wine Peloton understands that we have to engage and motivate businesses associated with the wine community to buy into the whole concept of not only of having compassion and giving something back to the broader community but also cheering us on from the sidelines, to watch the project grow, to want to know how the ride is going and how much we cyclists are suffering or enjoying the event. So this is the Wine Peloton story.
Cheers, Drew Tuckwell
Teen Rescue Foundation founder Tyson Stelzer with Wine Peloton 7 Peaks in 7 Days founder Drew Tuckwell