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Fit for Farming - On your bike

In March 2016 the inaugural Farmstrong Fit4Farming cycle tour will travel the length of the country to raise awareness of the benefits of rural communities being more active. The initiative involves clocking as many kilometres as you can, whether it be through running, cycling or walking, in a bid to see New Zealand become the fittest farming nation in the world.

The idea is that farmers and the rural community will pledge kilometres towards the national goal.

The tour participants are hoping to pledge four million kilometres through their efforts. So far 472,791 kilometres have been pledged. By pledging to complete a number of kilometres, people are more likely to commit to the goal and, ultimately in this case, improving their physical wellbeing.

Farmstrong has partnered with a newly formed charity called Fit4Farming, the brainchild of Ian Handcock. It came about as a realisation that nowadays farming doesn’t necessarily have the same physical components as it used to have, thanks to the automation of equipment and technological advancements. At the same time, many jobs on the farm, such as calving and lambing, require stamina and demand a high level of fitness – all of which means paying attention to keeping yourself in good physical shape for good health’s sake.

To help promote this idea and to keep rural New Zealand physically and mentally healthy, a rural cycle tour is being held between 18 March and 2 April 2016.

A peloton of 20 cyclists will ride the length of the country from Ngatea (18 kilometres south-west of Thames) all the way to Bluff. The team of will be made up of farmers and sponsors and Fit4Farming founder Ian Handcock. There will be regional events in Ngatea, Cambridge, Taranaki, Palmerston North, Blenheim, South Canterbury and Invercargill.

Toyota New Zealand has supported this initiative through the provision of a Toyota Hilux for the duration of the countrywide tour. At each destination there will be events – which would be a great opportunity for dealers to get involved.

Source: Believe Magazine - Issue 12 2015