Home' The River News : October 10th 2019 Contents 2 - The River News, Thursday, October 10, 2019
SEE INSIDE FOR CATALOGUE
A FORMER Olympian cycled
through Waikerie this week as part of
a group of dedicated cyclists aiming to
raise awareness for mental health.
Hill’s Heroes cyclists stopped by Waik-
erie on Tuesday, before spending the night
in Blanchetown, riding throughout Na-
tional Mental Health Week to raise funds for
Beyond Blue, while also raising awareness
of mental health issues such as depression
Among the riders was former inter-
national basketballer and Olympic silver
medallist Jo Hill, who has been involved in
the ride since it was started by her nephew
Tyron Hill in 2015.
Having faced her own struggles with
mental health as an athlete, Ms Hill stands
as a proud supporter of Beyond Blue as an
ambassador of the Hill’s Heroes.
“Hill’s Heroes was started by Tyron after
his second knee reconstruction. He was
planning to do a lot of riding for his rehab,
so he decided to do it for a good cause,” Ms
“As soon as I saw (Hill’s Heroes), I got on
board and have been a part of it ever since.
“I’m 46 years old, so it has taken me a
long time to get to a place where I can talk
about my own experiences. But starting
this ride in 2015 gave me a space to start
getting the message across, because mental
health issues are becoming more and more
Hill retired from her basketball career
last year, after negative comments and
abuse from the sidelines while playing for
North Adelaide in the South Australian
Women’s Premier League became too much
for the former Olympian to bare.
She now shares her story in the hope of
helping others struggling with mental ill-
ness to seek support.
“I was in a bad place and people don’t
know what’s going on in your backyard,
and what if that tipped me over the edge?”
Ms Hill said.
“That’s my thing; I don’t know what’s
going on in other people’s backyards and
other people don’t know what’s going on in
my backyard, so I was lucky I had support.
“I was also lucky that there was an article
written about me. There was a lot of back-
lash from it and people supporting me.”
Having pushed through hard times, Ms
Hill said she now draws on that mental
strength to motivate herself while she rides.
“I haven’t been on the bike much, but
85 per cent of the ride is mental,” she said.
“There’s a lot of hills along the way and
when you’re at the bottom of the hill you
look at the top and think, ‘How the hell am
I going to get up there?’, and then you dig
deep to push yourself through it.
“When you’ve been in a dark place, what
you do to help yourself each day to get
through it, that helps you to get up that hill.”
This is the third ride for Hill’s Heroes,
which has raised more than $75,000 for Be-
yondBlue during its previous trips.
After setting off from Murray Bridge
on Sunday, the group is set to complete its
800km round-trip on Thursday, after looping
through the Murraylands, Mallee, Riverland
and Fleurieu Peninsula.
The ride is not Ms Hill’s first time in
the region, with family ties in Taylorville
seeing her fill in for the local netball club
over 15 years ago.
Having grown up in a rural town herself,
Ms Hill said it was important to spread
awareness of mental health issues in small
towns and encourage people to seek help.
“Every ride we’ve done has been through
country towns, because they have the high-
est statistics of suicide in the country,” she
“Hopefully we can get the message out
that it is okay to talk, and you need to talk
more and shouldn’t be ashamed.
“It’s not a sign of weakness, and I think
we need to make people more aware that
it is happening more and more, and in the
country and rural areas it does happen
“If you can save one person I think
you’re doing your job, so if there’s more
people that could be saved from committing
suicide that’s a big thing.”
Anyone wanting to stay up-to-date with
the Hill’s Heroes riders can follow the
group’s Instagram or Facebook page. To
donate, visit www.hillsheroes.com/
Hill’s Heroes ride for mental health
JO Hill was one of 11 Hill’s Heroes cyclists taking on the ride aimed at raising awareness for
mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
the Waikerie Community
Sports Centre (WCSC)
is set to begin soon with
a $265,000 upgrade of
the building’s toilets and
The sporting precinct re-
ceived a $177,000 grant from
the Office of Recreation,
Sport and Racing, with the
District Council of Loxton
Waikerie (DCLW) contribut-
ing an additional $92,000 to
The contract was re-
cently awarded to Waikerie
DCLW corporate and
community services direc-
tor Gordon Thomson said
council is in the process of
finalising approvals and
work would commence as
soon as these have been
“It is expected that the
change room toilet facilities
upgrade will completed by
the end of the year,” he said.
$265k change for WCSC rooms
Opposition minister slams hospital upgrade delays
OLYMPIC silver medallist and international basketballer Jo Hill cycled through Waikerie before
spending the night in Blanchetown on Tuesday as part of a Mental Health Week initiative.
PHOTOS: Stephanie Carnell
UPPER LEVEL LOWER LEVEL FLOW
CONTINUED FROM FRONT
State Opposition health spokesperson
Blair Boyer told The River News that before
last year’s state election the South Austra-
lian Liberal Party “talked a big game” about
investing in regional hospitals.
“Now, we see that some fairly minor
works to the Waikerie Hospital carpark,
front entrance and aged care area might
not go ahead because of what is a relatively
small shortfall in funding,” he said.
“Surely the local Member of Parliament,
Tim Whetstone, who sits at the cabinet table
with the Minister for Health, could deliver
on his party’s commitment to invest in re-
gional hospitals like Waikerie and secure
the funding needed to complete these proj-
ects without making the local HAC beg for
In a rare mutual agreement between
opposing members, Member for Chaffey
Mr Whetstone said he was “a little hostile”
towards the “contingency taken out of de-
velopment projects” such as the Waikerie
Hospital carpark upgrades by the Depart-
ment of Planning, Transport and Infra-
“I feel that the community, by and large,
raised money for upgrades to their hospital,
and sadly we see DPTI clicking the ticket,”
“However, when it comes down to any of
the infrastructure at a hospital, there is a
requirement that it has to be of a standard
that meets the healthcare needs.
“Whether it’s something as basic as a
hospital carpark or as intricate as air-condi-
tioning or the needs of an operating theatre,
it does have to meet those needs.
“The Waikerie community has set an
absolute precedent for the care and courage
of making sure that their hospital remains
with the working services that our commu-
Mr Whetstone said the state ministers
responsible for health, and planning, trans-
port and infrastructure, are visiting Waik-
erie Hospital towards the end of the month.
“We continue to put a focus on country
health, reinstating country boards, making
sure that those decision making processes
are undertaken in the country rather than
what has been decisions made in the city on
behalf of the country,” he said.
“I’ll continue to strongly advocate for
functioning, working, good healthcare ser-
vices in the Riverland and Waikerie.”
Transport, Infrastructure and Planning
Minister Stephan Knoll is visiting Waikerie
Hospital on Tuesday, October 22. Health
Minister Stephen Wade will visit the hospi-
tal and tour the Riverland the next day.
Links Archive October 2nd 2019 October 16th 2019 Navigation Previous Page Next Page