Healthy change inspires Coot-tha Challenge

News & Media

April 16, 2021


Collingwood Park resident Thomas Skeljo will take on his first mass cycling challenge this month to raise vital funds for Diabetes Queensland while inspiring more people to live healthy, active lifestyles.

The 55-year-old will put his fitness to the test on April 29 when he tackles the 75km Great Brisbane Bike Ride & Coot-tha Challenge ­– a timed 2.3km, 9 percent climb, up Brisbane’s highest peak.

Mr Skeljo said he was a relative newcomer to the sport, having taken up cycling only two years ago to improve his overall health and fitness.

“I had been put on a waiting list for knee surgery and during a physio appointment I was told I had very little leg muscle mass,” he said.

“I’d never considered cycling as a gentle, low impact form of exercise until the physio recommended it. Until then every time I worked out I suffered with swollen and sore knees.

“I was sceptical but gave cycling a go — it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can enjoy being active and healthy again and I hope that my story will inspire others facing the same challenges to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle.”

Mr Skeljo said he was looking forward to the challenge and contributing to the important work of the event beneficiary, Diabetes Queensland.

“I’ve grown to love cycling and the feeling of achievement after finishing a tough ride,” he said.

“Not only that but the challenge is raising vital funds for a really important cause. Diabetes impacts more and more Queenslanders each year and promoting physical activity is a great way to reduce your risk of developing the disease.

“Cycling and events like the Great Brisbane Bike Ride are great for all ages, fitness levels and abilities. I hope that my story inspires others to make a positive change for their health.”

The Great Brisbane Bike Ride & Coot-tha Challenge will be held on Sunday, 29 April, with more than 2000 riders expected to take part.

The Bicycle Queensland event is for people of all ages and fitness levels, with three course options – 110km, 75km, and 40km – as well as a Family Fun Ride.

For more daring riders there will be an optional Mount Coot-tha Challenge — a timed 2.3km, 9 per cent climb, up Brisbane’s highest peak.

Set yourself a challenge and register today at /

For more information, visit Bicycle Queensland at



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