Const. Mark Hendren, Const. Chelsea Cofield and Const. Jonathan de Boer are representing Saanich Police on this year’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Saanich officers re-unite for Tour de Rock

Eight alumni from Saanich Police Department ride

Three years ago a trio of Saanich Police officers from the same A patrol unit took part in the 2017 Tour de Rock Cops for Cancer ride.

This year, that same trio are rejoining the Tour de Rock as alumni are stepping up to cycle single-day sections of the famous 1,000-kilometre ride from Port Hardy to Victoria.

Consts. Jonathon de Boer, Chelsea Cofield, and Mark Hendren, were all part of Saanich Police’s A patrol in 2017 and are each biking a leg of the Tour de Rock this week, as are Sgt. Alan Gurzinski, Const. Stephanie McFarlane, Const. Heather Barkley, Reserve Staff Sgt. Steve Smith and Saanich Police equipment officer and 2013 alumnus Kevin Nunn.

READ ALSO: Saanich Police A-patrol officers unite for Tour de Rock

READ MORE: Our Cause: Saanich Police a rock for Cops for Cancer

“In terms of visits, we won’t be in schools [as is traditional],” Nunn said. “We’re still awaiting the final agendas on exactly what we’ll do. It’s about physical distancing and going to some areas where there will be presentations but not large groups.”

On Wednesday, Nunn and Barkley are riding Mill Bay-Langford-Sooke. On Friday, Nunn will ride with Hendren and De Boer, amongst others, in the Victoria finale. Gurzinski already rode the Parksville-Qualicum leg on Sept. 25. Cofield and Smith rode the Nanaimo leg on Sunday, Sept. 27. McFarlane rode Ladysmith-Chemanius on Monday (Sept. 28).

While the riders can’t go into schools they will do “ride-bys” and outdoor stops such as the Thrifty Foods in Mill Bay, and schools in various towns including Cobble Hill, Sooke, and Langford, as well as the Westshore Town Centre.

“We’re doing our best by keeping the awareness by riding in the communities to raise the money while being safe,” Nunn said.

READ ALSO: Despite bad knees, ‘Billy Idol’ plans to run to help Cops for Cancer

Nunn’s own story is a unique one. In 2020 he grew “Billy Idol hair” and raised $2,500 to shave it off. In 2011 he ran from Duncan to Victoria to raise money. In 2012 he pulled a car. In 2013 he rode the Tour de Rock. He’s volunteered ever since then and has also completed five Ironman triathlons and six half-Ironman triathlons as a fundraiser for Cops for Cancer. He even has a triathlon suit in Tour de Rock colours.

Nunn will do a marathon later in October to help raise money for the Tour de Rock cause.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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