Team rides to cure cancer

The Advertiser – Saturday 6 December 2014

He’s no stranger to gruelling fundraising bike rides but emergency specialist Associate Professor Bill Griggs AM has more reasons than ever to be part of this year’s Ride for a Reason raising cancer research funds in the Tour Down Under.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital trauma specialist and former South Australian of the Year revealed he had his own cancer scare earlier this year after “passing a lot of blood” which left him shaken.

“I’ve had friends die of cancer and have held hands with people as they are dying so am familiar with it and know the importance of research,” he said.

“I had my own cancer scare earlier this year and it took some days to have it checked. Thankfully it was not cancer but it did worry me for a while and certainly reminded me of why research is so vital.”

Dr Griggs is part of former governor and Kevin Scarce’s Chairman’s 11 team taking part in this year’s Ride for a Reason, raising funds for cancer research as part of January’s Tour Down Under.

Dr Griggs was not a regular cyclist before being convinced to enter the event four years ago but has since cycled around 40,000kms including in Europe.

“The first year nearly killed me but now I really enjoy it and ride three or four times a week, for health, fitness, the friends you meet and getting outdoors,” he said.

“Riding in Ride for a Reason is particularly rewarding – you never know what dollar raised for cancer research is going to be the one that triggers the big breakthrough.”

Tour Down Under 2004 winner and Chairman’s 11 coach Patrick Jonker told his team at a post-ride breakfast this week the importance of regular exercise.

“One of the biggest challenges we face as far as health goes is sitting around all day – people who work at computers, and jobs such as airline pilots and taxi drivers are a real problem,” he said.

“You might have a 5am workout but if you sit around all day it undoes it all. You need to get up to do two laps of the office every 40 minutes.”

Cancer Council SA chairman Mr Scarce encouraged all South Australians to take part in Ride for a Reason, noting cancer touches most families in some way.

“It is a great cause, and a great way to raise funds for research,” he said. “I’ve not been a cyclist in the past but I now enjoy getting out and about and it is a great feeling of achievement when finishing a training ride.”

Team captain, Cancer Council chief executive Professor Brenda Wilson, is a regular cyclist who does her training in the early morning.

“You end on a high – it is exhilarating,’ she said.

For more information head to



The Chairman’s 11 team for Ride for a Reason raising funds for cancer research.

Captain: Prof. Brenda Wilson, Lieutenant Governor SA, chief Cancer Council SA

Chris Kourakis, Supreme Court Chief Justice

David Klingberg AO, Cancer Council SA Business Patron, chairman Centrex Metals Ltd

David Knox, managing director Santos

Bill Griggs, Director Trauma Services Royal Adelaide Hospital, Beat Cancer Tour Rider 2014

Greg McCarthy, chief executive WorkCover

Brenton Ragless, Channel 9 News anchorman

Keith Conlon, media personality

Mel Mansell, Editorial Director Adelaide Advertiser, Sunday Mail

Peter Searson, chairman Asia Pacific Arthur J Gallagher & Co

Paul Easter, general manager Gallagher Bassett

Coach — Patrick Jonker, Winner Santos Tour Down Under 2004


Ride for a Reason is in the Bupa Challenge Tour on January 23, 2015 as a part of the Tour Down Under, with various prizes available for fundraisers.

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