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Pedal power: Kelly Podlich saddles up to help young people

As Harcourts International’s Chief Financial Officer, Kelly Podlich is used to chalking up some pretty big numbers. 

But three years ago, instead of focusing on dollars and cents, she decided to start tallying kilometres as well, as part of a charity ride to raise funds for underprivileged youth.

Each year the Sisters Of The Saddle set out on a three-day bike ride of roughly 350km, cycling about 18 hours in total in a physically and mentally challenging feat to help those less fortunate than themselves.

“Last year we rode from Rosewood, near Brisbane, to Toowoomba, up the Toowoomba Range, and then we did a loop around the Toowoomba area,” Ms Podlich said.

“Then on the third day we rode from Toowoomba back to Brisbane.

“It was pretty crazy.”

Ms Podlich said that ride raised more than $400,000, while other rides have raised about $350,000.

While the cycling route changes each year, the women’s commitment to the cause never waivers.

Each commits to raising at least $3000 in any way they can – trivia nights, corporate lunches and other fundraising events are the norm.

Corporate sponsors also chip in and have their branding on the riders jerseys.

Ms Podlich said it was a former colleague that got her into the ride and she has since also completed the ride with another Harcourts colleague, Australian financial controller Leah Haigh.

“I hadn’t ridden a bike in about 20 years,” she said. 

“Without going into too much detail, I’m usually the last one up the hills and I’m pretty quick going downhill.”

Sisters of the Saddle Photo: Kelly Podlich.

Before each ride the women train for 10 weeks with a professional coach, and while Ms Podlich said the 4am wake-up to get to training is brutal, it’s all worth it.

She said as well as raising the money for underprivileged youth, the ride had a big impact on her personally.

“It has definitely changed my life in the sense that it connected me with so many amazing women that are all looking to get fit but also looking to help out the community and help out young people,” Ms Podlich said.

“It’s just provided me with an amazing network of supportive women.”

And despite not cycling for 20 years previously, that form of exercise is now firmly entrenched in Ms Podlich’s life.

“I now own three bikes,” she laughed. 

The next Sisters of The Saddle ride will be held in October. For more information click here.

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.