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The race begins for half-price Bupa Challenge Tour entries

The race begins for half-price Bupa Challenge Tour entries

Australia’s largest privately owned healthcare group, Bupa, today announced it would pay half the entry cost for its first 200 members to sign up for the Bupa Challenge Tour – previously the Mutual Community Challenge Tour.

From 2012, Bupa will partner with this iconic event, which provides around 8000 amateur cyclists with the opportunity to ride the same course as the Santos Tour Down Under professionals.

Today’s announcement strengthens the relationship that Bupa’s well known health insurance brand, Mutual Community, has shared with Australia’s premier amateur cycling event. Mutual Community has been a sponsor of the Mutual Community Challenge Tour since its inception in 2005, and has supported the Santos Tour Down Under since 1999.

In Australia, Bupa proudly provides a wide range of services to more than three million people through its private health insurance, aged care, optical care, chronic disease management and corporate wellness businesses.

To celebrate this important milestone, Bupa will pay half the ‘early bird’ entry fee for riders who belong to its health funds: Mutual Community, MBF and HBA. The offer is open to the first 100 South Australian members that register for the Bupa Challenge Tour, as well as the first 100 members from other states.

Bupa’s Director of Group Development, Mark Engel, said the new sponsorship arrangement would enable the company to help drive entries by promoting the event to its national membership base.

“We’re tremendously excited to sponsor the Bupa Challenge Tour for the sixth consecutive year, and we believe this will truly resonate with Australia’s cycling public,” he said.

“Additionally, this will enable us to promote the Bupa brand to the 700,000 fans who attend the event, as well as the 8000 participants - a number we hope to increase significantly this year.”

Engel went on to say that while Mutual Community would continue to be a pivotal part of the event, the sponsorship brand change would help raise awareness of Bupa amongst South Australians, as well as the country’s ever-growing cycling community.

“We’re extremely proud that our retail insurance brands like Mutual Community have been part of Aussie life for over 70 years. However, it’s also imperative that we help more Australians understand who Bupa is and what services we provide,” he said.

"Importantly, our commitment to the South Australian community hasn’t changed, and we encourage everyone to get involved in this world-class event; from riding the course to being a spectator.

“The Bupa Challenge Tour provides the perfect opportunity to promote our long-term goal of helping people lead longer, healthier, happier lives by encouraging them to make positive lifestyle choices.

“We look forward to working with the Minister for Tourism and the Santos Tour Down Under to showcase South Australia to cycling fans around the globe.”

– Ends –

Notes to editor:

The 2012 Bupa Challenge Tour will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia on 20 January 2012.

Bupa Challenge Tour riders can choose one of four distances on offer:

Option 1 138km* Norwood to Tanunda
Option 2 102km Gumeracha to Tanunda (starts 4.5km off the course)
Option 3 79km Mt Pleasant to Tanunda
Option 4 33km Tanunda to Tanunda (starts 2.3km off the course)

*Option 1 includes 8km of neutral distance plus 130km of Santos Tour Down Under race distance

Bupa Challenge Tour Prices – with half-price entry:

Option 1 Early bird $130 First 200 Bupa members $65
Option 2 Early bird $130 First 200 Bupa members $60
Option 3 Early bird $130 First 200 Bupa members $50
Option 4 Early bird $80 First 200 Bupa members $40

To register for the 2012 Bupa Challenge Tour, visit www.tourdownunder.com.au or contact +61 8 8463 4701.

For all media inquiries, please contact:
Matt Allison

Media and Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +61 (407 440 212)
matt.allison@bupa.com.au

Bupa Australia Pty Limited proudly provides health insurance to more than three million Australians under the well known health insurance brands MBF, HBA, and Mutual Community. It also provides complementary healthcare services through Bupa Health Dialog, Peak Health Management and Blink Optical. Bupa Care Services Pty Limited is an aged care provider with 47 facilities around Australia.

Bupa focuses on providing sustainable healthcare solutions that represent real value, and on leading the industry in the promotion of preventive health and wellness – helping customers better manage their health for the long-term. Bupa’s Australian businesses are part of the international Bupa Group, which cares for more than 30 million people in over 190 countries.