RIGHT: Ballina ironman Tim Berkel is the ambassador for the Ride for HeartKids.
RIGHT: Ballina ironman Tim Berkel is the ambassador for the Ride for HeartKids. EPA Bruce Omori

Ride your heart out for kids

IT'S time to get out the bikes for a good cause.

The Ride for HeartKids annual charity bike ride has announced Ballina Ironman triathlete Tim Berkel as its ambassador.

The charity event raises money for HeartKids Australia, a national not-for-profit organisation that provides support for children suffering childhood heart disease and their families.

It encourages participants to organise individual cycling challenges and fundraising efforts.

The Ride for HeartKids was founded by Australian Army soldier David French in 2013, after he decided to assist sick kids in Australia on returning from service in Afghanistan.

His son William required corrective surgery at five days old.

Berkel said it was an honour to represent the charity.

"I am delighted to be able to act as Ride for HeartKids' first sporting ambassador and get involved in a great charity event," he said.

"Six kids are born with childhood heart disease every day in Australia and having heard the stories of many HeartKids and their families I decided to do anything I can to help."

A HeartKids spokesperson said: "Tim's personal motto - Strength. Persistence. Dream. - is representative of a HeartKids determination in their battle with childhood heart disease."

Berkel is a multiple winner of ironman and 70.3 distance races.

For more information, or to participate in fundraising, visit www.heartkids.org.au



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