Who would have thought that riding a bicycle could raise so much money and contribute to community projects identified by financial planning professionals Australia-wide?
And who would have thought that I, a part-time cyclist who has reached his first superannuation preservation age and is not tall enough for his weight, would face his fifth year of 1,000-plus kilometers of day-after-day cycling.
Peter Bobbin getting fired up in the Wheel Classic 2014
On Wednesday 13 November, with 32 other lycra-clad and bum-padded colleagues I started to pedal from Melbourne to Adelaide, all to raise money for Future2, the charity of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
It is a challenge, mentally and physically, to choose to cycle from one capital city to another. But I have learned of the rewards of the ride; never before have I ridden non-stop. In our first Bourke to Sydney event, for over 100 kilometres my feet did not touch the ground between Orange and Cowra in NSW.
The beauty of the bush is more than matched by the generosity of country Australia. It has warmed my heart and spoke of the future of humanity as many country Australians have spontaneously reached into their pockets and donated to a charity represented by the MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra) standing before them.
Future2 is the beating heart of the Financial Planning Profession, its Australia-wide support comes not only from FPA Chapter fundraising events but also in the locally identified community projects that FPA members put forward to be Future2 grant recipients.
Proudly (or stupidly if you know how much training I didn’t do), this year the Wheel Classic took a westerly route from Melbourne to Adelaide and finished on the evening of the opening of the FPA Congress in Adelaide on the 19 November.
Yes, my butt was sore, my thighs felt like tree trunks, and I carried an odour that foretold of my arrival well before I entered the room. But will I have lost any weight? No, the care and attention of the AMP Future2 Wheel Classic support crew ensured a daily carbohydrate intake that was both solid and liquid. Whilst drinking an evening’s ration I enjoyed the company of financial planning professionals as well as some of their clients. Some were even cycling enthusiasts.
We raised over $122,000 through the Future2 Wheel Classic. The proceeds will add to the resources of Future2 and will be dedicated to the grants program.
As an original Future2 trustee-director, another thing I have learned is of the big hearts and energies of community-spirited people who have an idea and a willingness but just need financial help to be able to transform the lives of disadvantaged young Australians. Over the last five years nearly $550,000 has been raised by Future2 Wheel Classic rides; this has contributed to life-transforming projects. As the name implies, Future2 aims to give a second chance to young Australians who are socially and financially disadvantaged. Together we show Australia the true beating heart of the financial planning profession.
Peter Bobbin is a commercial lawyer and head of personal legal services at Rockwell Olivier, specialising in matters relating to superannuation, taxation, estate and succession planning and regulatory compliance.
He is active in lobbying government on a range of issues and was the only individual representative invited to the Federal Treasury initiative on the Ralph Report to tax trusts as companies.
Peter is also a trustee and director of the FPA’s Future 2 Foundation and has taken part in the Wheel Classic for the past four years.
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