Riders race against the ‘black dog

THE roar of more than 230 motorbikes leaving Campbell Town on Sunday morning not only let everybody know they were in town, but reverberated an important message to all who witnessed the 11th annual Black Dog Ride Tasmania.

Raising awareness of depression and suicide prevention the Black Dog Ride 1 Dayer is held on the third Sunday in March each year right around the country, with hundreds of bike runs drawing attention to the sad fact that eight Australians take their lives every day to what has become known as the “black dog” – a phrase coined by

Sir Winston Churchill who suffered severe depression. All kinds of bikes from around the state joined in the ride to Scamander via Avoca, Fingal and St Marys, after fuelling up on an egg and bacon breakfast catered by the Campbell Town Football Club.

Club committee member Paul Jones said that providing a meeting place and breakfast was a good little fundraiser for the club, a role it has played for the past seven years.

Black Dog Ride state
coordinator Jeremy Gill said that while awareness was the priority the entry fee from riders, merchandise sales, raffles on the day plus donations all get channelled into mental health programs to benefit the wider community.

“One team of ladies from northern Tasmania, who call themselves the Direct Debit Bandits, handed us a cheque for $14,500, last year it was $12,000, that is an incredible effort from a year of fundraising purely online,” he said.

“For anyone who hasn’t taken part, it’s a great day and the atmosphere is amazing. “This was the first ride we’ve held to Scamander, it’s traditionally been Bicheno, and everyone loved it, especially the food and live entertainment just taking part is enough to lift anyone’s spirits.”