Lake Country RCMP couple ready for Cops for Kids ride

Jayson Lucash and Heather Swetnam among 28 emergency personnel set to ride and raise money on 10 day, 1,000 km trip

  • Sep. 8, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Lake Country RCMP sergeant Jayson Lucash and his wife Heather

Lake Country RCMP sergeant Jayson Lucash and his wife are both used to epic bike rides as well as testing their endurance.

The couple have both completed an Ironman event, with Lucash completing his first Ironman in 2014 in Whistler and his wife Heather Swetnam, also an RCMP member—completing no less than four Ironman events.

But come Friday they will both be tackling an endurance event with a difference as members of this year’s Cops for Kids cycling team, a group of 28 emergency personnel that departs Friday on a 10-day, 1,000 kilometre bike trip through the southern part of the province.

Lucash and Swetnam will rely on their training and their past experience with Ironman and with GranFondo bike rides as they kick off. It will be the first Cops for Kids ride for both RCMP members.

“It will be cool,” said Lucash, a sergeant in the Lake Country RCMP detachment. “It’s going to be great to get into the communities in more of a positive light than what we are doing while we are working.”

Lucash has been living in Lake Country for the past 10 years and has been sergeant of the Lake Country detachment the past three years while his wife Heather is a plain clothes detective working in the Central Okanagan region. The pair have been training for the ride with distance rides through the summer. Lucash says the biggest challenge may be starting and stopping at the different events in cities and towns along the way. But he’s ready for the challenge and he’s happy to be raising money that will stay in the community.

“I’ve lived here for 10 years and during that time I’ve developed contacts in the community so it’s nice to get the chance to raise money that will stay right here,” said Lucash, 44.

A total of 28 bicycle riders and seven support people from the RCMP and supporting enforcement agencies across the RCMP’s South East District are taking part in the 15th annual Cops for Kids Ride.

The 2016 ride will take the team across the south-east corner of B.C. to raise awareness and essential funds for children in medical, physical or traumatic crisis.

During the 10-day fundraising cycle, riders will pass through 18 different communities and they will face challenging terrain and possible inclement weather conditions along the way. It starts and ends in Kelowna.

The route includes the ascent and decent of two mountains passes—the Anarchist Mountain near Osoyoos and the Paulson summit on the way to Castlegar. Lucash feels his training and experience with group cycle rides, where riders support and cycle as a team, will help.

“We’ll see how it goes,” he said with a grin. “I am a little worried about starting and stopping. But I’m used to pack-riding where you can draft. The biggest thing is the weather.”

Organizers say the challenges of the ride remind each rider of the challenges that some children—the group’s Little Ambassadors—face on a daily basis. Along their route, the riders will be greeted by local dignitaries and the Little Ambassadors who receive funding from the annual ride.

For president Gail Harrison, it’s those little faces that serve as a reminder of why we must all work together to fill the gap for funding needs.

“We’re seeing families in tough situations when tragedy strikes their family,” said Harrison.  “A family can’t plan for a crisis, so it’s important that Cops for Kids can be there financially when they need us most.”

The Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation provides limited, short-term financial assistance for children in need and their families.

All applications are reviewed for eligibility by the Cops for Kids Grants Committee which meets once a month to review all applications that have been received.

Donations can be made online at copsforkids.org.

Just Posted

Car thief nabbed by Mounties on wildfire duty

RCMP working wildfires deploy spike belt to nab alleged auto thief from Oliver.

Okanagan Wildfires: An evening update on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday evening look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Update: Mount Eneas wildfire holds at 1,374 hectares

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Update: Power restored to 2,000 Lake Country homes

The cause of the outage is unknown

Update: Okanagan Mountain Park fire holds at 400 hectares

The wildfire, also called Goode’s Creek wildfire, continues to burn near Kelowna

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Update: Wildfire near Summerland mapped at 118 hectares

The Mount Conkle wildfire is 90 per cent guarded

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

RDOS fire update: emergency social services moved

Centre moved to Penticton Memorial Arena for Saturday and Sunday

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

Most Read