While visiting Meandarra for a charity event late last year, best friends and passionate cyclists Keely Mancini and Rebecca East met the founder of Heart of Australia, Dr Rolf Gomes. While at the event, they became aware of the struggles isolated country Queensland areas face with their limited medical support. When they returned home to Brisbane, the Girls Got Heart Charity Foundation was born.

The charity aims to support access to critically needed heart health services for rural and remote Queensland communities. As heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, with people living in these areas being up to 44 per cent more likely to die from the condition, Keely and Rebecca want to raise awareness and funds to assist with medical support, prevention and care around heart health in more remote areas.

Girls Got Heart will hold its first event, Heart of Uralla 2017, in August, where 30 female cyclists will ride from central Brisbane to ‘Uralla’ property, Meandarra.

The event will take place over the course of three days as the cyclists ride 415kms and climb 3,000 metres across the ranges to raise funds and awareness for critically needed health services for these rural Queensland communities.

The women’s only charity ride is aimed at raising much-needed funds to assist with medical support, prevention and care around heart health. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are three times fewer specialists working per capita in regional and remote areas than in Australian cities.

With 1.4 million Australians living with heart disease and more than 55,000 Australians suffering heart attacks each year, Girls Got Heart’s fundraising will significantly help the rural health community. The funds raised by the Heart of Uralla 2017 ride will go directly to Heart of Australia – The Heart Bus.

Rebecca explained that supporting the medical needs of outback rural Queenslanders is the main focus of the event.

“Our goal at this first cycling event is to raise $55,000. Through registration, sponsorship and other fundraising initiatives, our focus remains on achieving this result and helping to support our friends and families medical needs in outback rural Queensland. We are so excited about creating this event and realise we are all different athletes. What we have in common is that we are passionate and love to encourage and support other women to achieve their goals and believe in themselves,” she said.

The registration fee for the Heart of Uralla 2017 ride is either $500 for individual riders or $800 for a two-person team. The fee includes fully supported ride management, a training plan, Scody cycling kit and all meals and accommodation during the ride as well as support vehicles, mechanical and medical back up throughout the journey. It also includes a ticket to the Presentation Dinner at the final destination and a return transfer to Brisbane for the rider and bike the following morning.

For more information on the charity, visit Girls Got Heart and to learn more about Heart of Australia, visit the website.