In 2005, Kim Nguyen started Soft Cogs Inc. with a goal to bring together a group of people who love to ride, have a good time, and raise a little money for a good cause while they’re at it. More than $1.4 million dollars later, I think you’ll agree there’s nothing soft about Soft Cogs.
It all started in 2005, when Kim first noticed that at a lot of events there was a lack of corporate teams representing the mining industry.
“I remember looking around and seeing all these teams representing big corporations, but I never saw teams representing the mining industry. Talking about it one day at the Central Hotel in Singleton with some mates, I realised there was nothing stopping me from doing something about it. That’s when Soft Cogs was formed,” explains Kim.
Soft Cogs is a team of riders who share their love of riding bikes (road, mountain, triathlon, recumbent, tandem… you name it). They predominantly come from the Hunter Valley however have riders who live in Sydney, Qld and beyond.
“Each year in November we band together and put our fundraising efforts into the MS Sydney to Wollongong bike ride (MS Gong Ride) to raise money for multiple sclerosis. MS affects more young people than any other chronic neurological condition and the average age of diagnosis is 24. It can strike anyone at any time.”
In 2006, Soft Cogs had their first crack at the MS Gong Ride. There were 19 in the group that first year and they raised $9,174. Since then, a team of Soft Cogs head down for the race each year, with fundraising and numbers growing every time. This year 82 Soft Cog riders came together for the ride and raised a whopping $100,893. Incredible!
“We were very proud that our group were the Gong Ride’s highest fundraising team, out of 888 teams,” said Kim. “It also brings our tally to over $1.4 million raised for MS in our 16-year existence.
“But the real credit goes to everyone that has backed us. I’m grateful for the support we’ve had, especially from the mining industry, but it’s the community support that really makes such a difference. All those mum and dad donations really do add up.”
Kim said there’s a lot more to Soft Cogs than fundraising though.
“The fundraising we are so proud of, but there’s other reasons we do this that are less tangible. It’s the culture we have built. Our team of riders are primarily from the Hunter and we are a community team which has strong support from our mining networks. Friends, families and workmates all learn about us and come along and get swept up with what we’re about. Because of this strong unity between the community and mining, combined with our team culture built on selflessness, we’ve been able to come back year after year.
“We’ve built this on being social, inclusive, and wanting to help others. It’s amazing the bonds we have developed. I met my wife through Soft Cogs back in 2009 and if that’s not proof of the relationships that have formed because of this group I don’t know what is!
“I’d love to see an even bigger team next year and we welcome anyone to come and join us. And don’t be intimidated if you’re not in shape, just think of it as a massive pissup with a bit of a ride in between!”
|Find out more about this amazing group at www.softcogsinc.com