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Ohope Ordeal: “Childcare could be a first.”

“Childcare could be a first.”

When hundreds of mountain bike riders set off on the Ohope Ordeal in April many of them will be leaving their children behind, but that won't bother them. In what is believe to be a first for this sort of event, two childcare facilities are being set up on site by professional childcare and OSCAR providers, Bizzy Buddyz.

“It's an idea whose time is overdue,” said Ordeal committee chair, Paul Robinson. “A great many women, and quite a few men, miss out on participating in these sorts of events because someone has to look after the kids.”

Paul says he first hit on the idea while chatting to a visiting young family. “They said they were both keen on these sort of outdoor challenge events but since the kids arrived are stuck to doing duathlons, where they can switch childcare half way through. Having the Ordeal based at a school made us realise that we had a solution on hand.”

There will be a creche for younger children and a form of after-school-care for older ones.

“The Ordeal is a fabulous event and we want as many people to enjoy it as possible.” said Mr Robinson. “We want them to know that their children will be cared for by qualified, experienced professionals so they can forget about them for a few hours and concentrate on having a great time.”

The Ohope Ordeal is run on April 19th which is the the first day of the school holidays. Families and mountainbike fanatics can come over for a few days to enjoy our fabulous beach and sunny weather, do the Ordeal, surf, fish, swim and relax. Ohope is easy for most people in the Central North Island to get to. It is one of the best beaches in the county and we love showing it off to visitors – the Ordeal is another reason to come and stay.

“We are pulling out all the stops to get people from near and far to do it," said Mr. Robinson. "We've got a website, to make it easier to sign up and book the childcare and we have earlybird discounts as well as a couple of great prizes to be drawn for those who sign up before the end of February."

The Ordeal route can only be ridden this one day a year. The two courses transit farmland that owners have generously made available.

Serious competitive mountain bikers will find the Spokes 50km course outstanding as it offers a tough, technical ride with very little unsealed road and no sealed road. There are plenty of opportunities to strategise a win and NZ Junior Mountainbike Champ Carl Jones, gave the course his personal stamp of approval, calling it "Primo!".

More casual riders who want a personal challenge can do the 25km event, which will offer them plenty of action and spectacular views of the bay and Ohiwa Harbour that they can't get any other way.

Even the spectators will have a great time. The event is both a fundraiser for and a celebration of Ohope Beach school. The riders will finish at a carnival at the school where there supporters will be enjoying food, craft stalls and entertainment.

The Ohope Ordeal was started two years ago by the Whakatane Mountainbike Club to both create a great local event and raise funds for the school. They do a huge amount of work to make sure the course is in top condition and create safe bypass routes around tricky bits for the less experienced riders.


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