Const. John Belanger (centre) of North Vancouver Island Traffic Services receives a training bike four the Tour de Rock from (from left) Troy Roblee

Tour de Rock training begins

21-member team will cycle the length of Vancouver Island in September and October, raising money for pediatric cancer research

At Oak Bay High School on Friday, in front of a cheering, jam-packed crowd, 20 Vancouver Island police officers and one radio personality were named to the 2015 Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock team.

This 21-member team will cycle the length of Vancouver Island in September and October, raising money for pediatric cancer research and support programs.

Some of the team members all received their Coast Capital Savings training jerseys and their Trek bikes during the announcement.

“It’s such an honour to get to put on this Tour de Rock jersey for the first time. It’s so much more than just a cycling jersey; what it stands for on Vancouver Island – for community, for a unifying cause like pediatric cancer – is overwhelming,” said Ray Bernoties, Commander of the RCMP’s Island District, Chief Superintendent.

Oak Bay Acting Mayor Tara Ney used the Oak Bay High event to proclaim Oct. 1 (the day the team rides into Oak Bay) as Tour de Rock Day. She challenged Island communities to do the same.

“Since 1988 the Tour de Rock has been creating community solidarity with children who have cancer. This proclamation signals Oak Bay’s forever commitment to care for these families in need. We challenge all communities on Vancouver Island to join us in this forever commitment.”

The collective hard work of all Vancouver Island communities and schools in their unwavering support for Tour de Rock allows children on Vancouver Island to attend Camp Goodtimes – a special summer camp for kids with a history of cancer – and also funds pediatric cancer research.

Since Cops for Cancer began in 1998, the Tour de Rock has raised more than $20 million. This money has made a big difference in the lives of children living with cancer. Childhood cancer survival rates are on the rise, and treatments are less invasive and have fewer side effects.

The Tour de Rock team will spend the next five months training on the bike and fundraising, before setting out on Sept. 19 for the 1,100-km tour of our rock (Vancouver Island) beginning in Port Alice and ending in Victoria on Oct. 2.

The 2015 Tour de Rock Team:

John Belanger, North Vancouver Island Traffic Services (Campbell River RCMP).

Mihai Ilioi, Nanaimo RCMP.

Hilary Eastmure, Nanaimo’s 91.7 coast FM.

Ian Wetzel-Eden, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP.

Nicholas Brame, West Shore RCMP.

Derek Brand, West Shore RCMP.

Rodney Carper, CFB Esquimalt.

Pamela Harris, CFB Esquimalt.

Michael Lemire, CFB Esquimalt.

Brent Hilborne, Victoria Police Department.

Matthew Rutherford, Victoria Police Department.

Diane Luszniak, Victoria Police Department.

Nawid Akbar, Saanich Police Department.

Paul Egli, Saanich Police Department.

Nick Mandryk, Saanich Police Department.

Steve Smith, Saanich Police Department.

Dillon Sahota, Central Saanich Police Service.

Devin Fidler, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP.

Ray Bernoties, Island District RCMP.

Robert Webb, Island District RCMP.

Alison Wood, Island District RCMP.