Thomas Skelton is riding from Fernie to Nelson, and then doing a 150km ride in Kelowna to raise funds for mental health. Pictured here bright and early on June 2 2021 before setting off from the Fernie Memorial Arena, headed to Kimberley for day 1. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie to Nelson (and then Kelowna) for mental health: Thomas Skelton gets pedalling

Elkford local Thomas Skelton will ride 500km in five days to raise funds for mental health

  • Jul. 2, 2021 12:00 a.m.

And he’s off!

Elkford’s Thomas Skelton has set off on a gruelling 500km-plus bike journey to raise funds for mental health.

Skelton is raising funds for the MindRight for Athletes Society, which seeks to address mental health wellness in young athletes.

It was bright and early on Friday (July 2) morning when Skelton got on his bike and rode off into the hills, departing from the Fernie Memorial Arena at 4:30am to beat the heat.

Skelton said it was exciting times.

“It’s a little bit early with this heatwave, but I am really looking forward to the ride and getting to experience this and raise some funds for mental health awareness.”

From Fernie Skelton is headed to Nelson – a journey he’ll do in four days via Kimberley, Creston and Grey Creek. 

“According to the weather radar it’s going to be hot every day – so today and tomorrow are the two big longer days, so getting an early start for sure is important.

‘With the heat I think I am going to see no sun and stars for the beginning of almost every ride.”

On day 1, Skelton is headed to the arena in Kimberley, and from there he’ll be to Creston on day 2.

After he arrives in Nelson, he’ll be headed to Kelowna where he’ll ride another 150km in one day around the area in an attempt to include as many Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) communities as possible. 

Skelton has a goal of raising $10,000 for MindRight, and as of the morning he set off, over $8,000 was already raised. 

“I can’t begin to tell you how appreciative I am for everybody.”

Donations have rolled in from all over the KIJHL, and Skelton said he had to give a shoutout to his home base – Elkford.

“They’ve jumped in on this with open arms and full support. There’s been tonnes of donations coming in from my home town so thank you.”

Visit for more on Thomas or to donate. 

READ MORE: Pedal power: Elkford’s Thomas Skelton to embark on 500-plus km journey for mental health

Is there more to this story?

scott.tibballs@thefreepress.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Fernie Free Press