Interview: Samantha Hollier-James

Thursday morning whilst I was sipping my hot chocolate and preparing myself for the day ahead, I received an email from the CEO and co-founder of the Tour de Cure, Samantha Hollier-James. I was fortunate enough to interview Samantha over the phone 15 minutes after receiving her email, but not before she got the chance to interview me about my love for cycling. She was interested in knowing why I had a passion for the sport and if I ever planned on riding the Tour de Cure myself one day, in which the answer was of course. Out of the 45+ interviews I have written over the past three years, this has been my favourite. I think it’s wonderful that there are people out there so willing to help raise funds for cancer research just like Samantha.


Ellie: Are you pleased with how this year’s Tour went?

Samantha: Absolutely. Every year it is an epic team effort and the outcome is always spectacular. It’s incredible to see how many people become interested when raising funds for cancer is involved.

ES: Did you ride the Tour this year?

SHJ: I don’t ride but the co-founder rides along with other members of the team. There are hard-working jobs to do on and off the bike, so that’s where my role comes into the fundraiser. Off the bike jobs are harder to do, but I am very proud of the support crew and all are proud to be a part of the team. We have a team of riders and a support crew including 148 people with 17 Tour de Cure vehicles.

ES: What’s your favourite aspect of the Tour de Cure?

SHJ: My favourite aspect is the families. When they join the first year stages it’s very special and the excitement to reunite with family after such a great experience is incredible. So many emotions come from the riders and the families once the Tour is over.

ES: Would you be able to tell me about the next ride, the State of Origin Country Tour coming up in September?

SHJ: This is one of our new initiatives that started in 2012 and its purpose is to tackle and improve original statistics. We created a 4 day country tour – particularly for kids – through Queensland and New South Wales. With 2,500 kids in the region, it has been successful and raised many funds since it began two years ago.

ES: How can we become more involved with supporting the Tour here in Tasmania?

SHJ: There are projects online that we need help with and anyone across the world can become involved. You can read more at our website.

Samantha asked me to add a personal message from her to thank the following people for their kindness during the Tour:

“I would like to thank Tasmania because the hosting we got on the Spirit of Tasmania blew us away in the last few days. From the moment we stepped off the boat they offered so much support. It was an amazing and unique experience and I want to personally thank all of Tasmania for their support and encouragement towards the Tour de Cure.”

 

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