Zibeon Fielding hopes to be the first man to ride around the entire APY Lands, through Tour De APY, to promote healthy lifestyles within the communities.

Zibeon Fielding is an inspiring young health practitioner from Mimili, one of the ten main communities of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. APY lands are home to close to 3,000 indigenous people and located roughly 1100 kilometres from Adelaide, in the North-Western corner of South Australia.

Armed with a Certificate IV in Primary Health care, Zibeon is passionate about addressing health issues in his community and currently works in the local Mimili clinic with aspirations to eventually become a community doctor. Zibeon has been striving hard to prevent chronic diseases and to promote healthy lifestyles within the community, by encouraging the physical fitness, running and exercise culture in APY Lands.

As a health practitioner I’m at the forefront; every day I see many people on the edge of developing diseases at a young age and dying from chronic problems such as renal failure. These people are the friends, parents and children I’ve grown up with,” says Zibeon on his gofundraise page.

As a past participant of the Bikes Palya program Bike SA runs, Zibeon has experienced first-hand how bicycles can engage youth to promote education and to lead healthy lifestyles. Bike Payla have been delivering various programs over the last 15 years.

Previously he organized a 62km ultramarathon to help raise resources to fund dialysis services for the those in APY community who suffer from chronic kidney failure.

The charismatic young man has even extended his footprint overseas with his participation in the New York Marathon in 2016, the Boston Marathon in 2018 and the Tokyo Marathon earlier this year.

Tour De APY – Epic 700 km bike ride along the remote APY Lands

Zibeon’s dream is to build a community gym in Mimili to give the young people a place to gather, promote physical fitness as well as provide employment opportunities as personal trainers and staff. To raise funds to build the community gym, Zibeon has set himself a higher challenge: to be the first man to ride around the entire APY Lands through Tour De APY, a 700 km bike ride from the Indulkana Community in South Australia, along the outskirts of the Northern Territory and Western Australian border and back to the South Australian Mimili community. This ride will span seven days, from the 15th to the 21st of April 2019, with the temperature expected to be a maximum of high 20s and dropping to the low teens accompanied by mild to strong winds.

Along the route, Zibeon and the group of riders will engage with the Elders and locals in each community where there will be BBQs and other activities organised to promote benefits of health and well-being, mainly targeted towards the community youth.

Zibeon will use the ride as a platform to talk about healthy lifestyle choices, the benefits of education and the importance of school attendance.

Bike Palya has partnered with Zibeon to provide mechanical support and deliver activities along the way to further involve the community. These include targeted youth mentoring workshops en route and facilitating community race events. Bikes Palya will supply bikes for community members to join Zibeon on 10 km ride stretches as he leaves one community and heads toward the next. This special visit received funding support by Regional Anangu Services Aboriginal Corporation and the Wyatt Foundation.

You can extend your support by tracking the ride live here or by donating to his cause.

About Bikes Payla

Bikes Palya is a program for kids and communities in the APY Lands. Palya means “great” in Pitjantjatjara. Bikes are Great. Bikes Palya translates the excitement of cycling into learning opportunities for aboriginal youth through programs that reinforce values of pride and responsibility while providing ongoing positive recreation options. In schools where attendance can be very low, Bikes Palya aims to drive attendance rates higher and to engage with typically hard to reach youth through the power of the bike.

Through partnering with Zibeon’s Tour De APY, mutual school engagement, attendance and healthy lifestyles goals are strengthened. You can join the Bikes Palya journey via Facebook or make a tax-deductible donation here.