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Kurri Mongrels using pedal power to support causes across Australia

They set off from The Station Hotel Motel at Kurri every Thursday afternoon, cloaked in lycra and determined to make a difference.

Who are they?

They are the Kurri Mongrels, and to date they have raised more than $125,000 for charity groups across the country.

Station Hotel Motel owner Billy Metcalfe and his best mate Martin Parker first started peddling around Kurri together more than 15 years ago, and what started as a way to stay fit, has now become one of the biggest community support groups in the area.

Boasting more than 40 members, the Kurri Mongrels ride all over The Hunter Region, and sometimes across the country, raising money for non-profit groups including Westpac Rescue Helicopter, The Black Dog Institute, The Mark Hughes Foundation and Australian Breast Cancer Research.

"On 8 April we will be doing the Kurri Coalface Pedal, an event created by Rotary and The Mongrels that aims to raise money for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service," Mr Metcalfe said.

"The event includes a number of different rides from a 10km family course, to a variety of 60km challenges that riders can compete in as a team or individually. There are also 20km and 40km courses as well, so it is suited to all riders."

Mr Metcalfe said his active role in the group, together with support offered by the hotel, has provided the community with regular way to come together for a common cause.

"The riders who are a part of this group are just fantastic and it's a great way to get people out there being active and purposeful," he said.

"We meet at the pub every Thursday afternoon and just head out. It's a good relaxed ride and helps keep us fit for the bigger fundraising rides than can sometimes be up to 3,000 km or more."

Martin Parker also plays a pivotal role in the group and said meeting at the hotel and going for a ride every Thursday has made a great difference to local residents, especially those who may have retired from working or playing group sports like football.

"This has really given people a place to come and meet and be a part of something,"he said.

"Our group consists of men and women and is inclusive for everyone. Those who want to participate in the bigger fundraising rides are welcome to do so, or they can just come along for the Thursday social ride."

To participate in the 2018 Kurri Coalface Pedal go to rescuehelicopter.con,au/events

Station Hotel Motel owner Billy Metcalfe and best mate Martin Parker

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