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Ride to raise awareness

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Tommy Quick and his team stopped by Ballan on Friday 20 October, before continuing on to Footscray to complete the journey. Photo – Lachlan Ellis

By Lachlan Ellis

He was just 12 when he suffered a stroke, but an Aussie legend has just completed a herculean mission to raise awareness and funds for the condition.

30-year-old Tommy Quick recently completed a three-year journey as part of his ‘4 Points’ campaign, riding a recumbent tricycle to mainland Australia’s four most extreme points – Cape York in Queensland, Byron Bay in New South Wales, Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria, and Steep Point in Western Australia.

As part of a ‘Coming Home Tour’ following the completion of the ride, Tommy rode from Greenock in South Australia to Ballarat and back to Melbourne, stopping in Ballan for a coffee on Friday 20 October, before finishing at the Footscray Rowing Club for a celebration on Sunday 22 October.

While in Ballan, he shared his story, and the purpose of his more than 9,000-kilometre-long journey, with the Moorabool News.

“I wanted a goal. I’d done Kokoda, and I’d just received a recumbent trike for my independence. Riding around Australia became a goal of mine around 2019,” he said.

“Really the ride was about four goals: raising awareness that strokes can happen at any age, promoting inclusion around disability, raising funds for stroke research, and road safety. 32 per cent of all Australians who have a stroke will be under the age of 65. 600 kids per annum in Australia will suffer a stroke, and one third of that will be under the age of one.”

The trek took around three years, with a car hitting Tommy in November 2021 about 3,500 kilometres into the journey, requiring intensive rehab and forcing the journey to be postponed.

But ever the fighter, Tommy got back on his trike as soon as he could.

“It was essentially 13 months of rehab with a smashed pelvis and hairline fracture in my femur. But I jumped back on the horse…we rode from Melbourne to Wilsons Prom to test it, still part of the 4 Points, and after that I wanted to continue. Fast forward to March this year we left Melbourne, went to Cape Byron, reached Cape York on the 2nd of August, my 30th birthday,” he said.

“Some days it was gruelling. It was mentally challenging…the thing that stops you and holds you back from doing things, is really your mentality. At the end of the day, time can be your best friend or your worst enemy too.”

From a $125,000 goal, Tommy has so far raised just over $116,000 at the time of writing, with all proceeds going to the Stroke Foundation.

To contribute and help Tommy reach his fundraising goal, visit www.fundraise4stroke.org.au and search ‘The 4 Points Australia’.

For more information on Tommy and his incredible journey, visit www.the4points.org.