She has built a successful real estate business in Adelaide’s southern suburbs while raising a family of four.
Now Timms Real Estate Director Valerie Timms has set herself a challenge of a new kind: to bike ride 500km across Thailand as part of an Australia-wide real estate industry fundraiser.
Mrs Timms will join about 30 real estate leaders from around the country, riding through some of Northern Thailand’s most remote villages to raise money for disadvantaged Thai children’s education.
Mrs Timms, who needs to fundraise at least $5,000 simply to qualify for the ride, says she is no athlete but wants to take part as a means of giving back.
“I think for me, because I’ve got four children, when I learnt the stories of the children in Thailand it’s the sort of thing you want to give to,” Mrs Timms says.
“I guess I just wanted to give back, if they were my kids I’d want to do the same thing.”
Mrs Timms has been to Thailand on holiday before but is a relative stranger when it comes to endurance bike riding.
“I haven’t been on a bike for years, so I’m starting from scratch to build up my fitness,” she says.
To prepare for the ride, she is following a four-month fitness and training regime that involves riding for hours at a time.
“I’m getting on the bike as often as I can — I need to be on a bike at least four times a week — and by month four you need to be able to ride for two to three hours at a time,” she says.
Extreme humidity will be another ride challenge for Mrs Timms.
“I’m possibly going a couple of days earlier to cope with the humidity.”
But she is looking forward to lots of fun and camaraderie with industry colleagues along the way.
Another particular highlight will be meeting the children the funds will support — the ride will finish at an orphanage in Yasothon, whose children will be the beneficiaries of all the money raised.
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The ride is being organised by a company called Digital Live, which supports the real estate industry by providing six-month training programs for real estate leaders wanting to strengthen their digital profile.
In 2018, Digital Live raised more than $30,000 for Thai children’s education, through the charity Hands Across The Water.
This year, Digital Live Founder, Steve Carroll, who is also the Industry Relations Director for realestate.com.au, is hoping to quadruple the fundraising effort.
Digital Live is also expanding its services across Australia this year.
Meanwhile, Mrs Timms is looking for donations and sponsors for her ride.
“There are three levels of packages available so people can log online and donate,” she says.
“Also just spreading awareness is good.”
To donate to Valerie’s ride visit: https://www.handsgroup.org.au/my-experiences/event/digital-live-ride-2019/30652/
— BY CHLOE METCALFE AND ELEANOR MILLER