Geelong Grammar will be sending the biggest school contingent to the 2023 Great Vic Bike Ride this week.
The school will send its entire Year 8 cohort of 120 students to take part in the nine-day, 540km ride, which will wend its way through Gippsland from Orbost to Wonthaggi from Saturday, November 25 to Sunday, December 3.
Having taken part in every Great Vic Bike Ride since 1994, Geelong Grammar has traditionally made taking part in the ride optional for Year 8 students.
This year, the school decided to send the entire year level on the ride, doubling the number of participants from last year.
Geelong Grammar’s head of adventure education Laura Kearley said the experience would serve as the ideal preparation for Year 9 at the school’s Timbertop campus near Mount Buller, where students board for the full year without phones or personal technological devices.
“We found students who go on Great Vic are the most confident at Timbertop,” Ms Kearley said.
“The nine days away from their families and technology creates interactions that are face-to-face.
“The relationships they build in their riding also broaden their social networks. All of this is excellent preparation for Timbertop.”
Ms Kearly said participating in the Great Vic Bike Ride gave students a greater sense of confidence and a belief they can “push through when things are hard”.
“They find that when they’re 100km into a ride, that they do have more in them and this gives them a great boost for life,” she said.
“It also develops their sense of compassion, to see others struggling and know they’re all in it together.”