Next month UON Bachelor of Science student James Hadfield will be riding his bike over 200km into the NSW countryside as part of the Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer. The ride benefits the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
Engage caught up with James, who is hoping to raise over $3,000 for the cause.
Tell us about your background, including what drew you into studying biology?
I was born in Japan and lived there for almost six years. I moved to Australia in December 2001, it was the 21st I think to be exact. Japanese was my first language.
As for the second part, I’m not exactly sure what drew me to this; I originally was interested in doing biomedical degree or Medicine. The interest is probably on par with some other career paths.
You’re riding in The Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer next month. Can you tell us a little about how that opportunity came about?
I’ve been into road cycling for a while and only got my first road bike this year .Although cancer is not something I’ve had to deal with in my life, I’ve known friends and other close peers who have been affected by someone close dealing with cancer, or they are going through it themselves.
What do you hope will be achieved by what you are doing and what did you achieve or realise (personally)?
I hope more people will become aware of the ride. There are also thousands or others in this year’s ride, just for Sydney alone so hopefully it will make a huge impact and everyone will notice. I’ve also set this as a personal challenge, hopefully I can test myself and learn a whole lot more.
What are you passionate about? Can others in the community get involved?
I’m really into racing. I race myself and I’m a huge fan of Formula One. I’m also really into cycling. It’s easy to get involved – all someone needs is a bike and themselves. Go exploring and soak in the environment. All in all I’d say staying fit I guess because I’m also into football, I go for the Jets and Southampton in the Premier League.
What’s been your proudest achievement to date?
I was racing at Lithgow during Karting, I was 15 and I won the Junior Endurance title with my team mate. He drove the first stint and I managed to take my kart across the line to give us first place. We both drove consistently and we were also able to capitalise which was enough to win.
Do you draw on any people or resources for inspiration?
I’m a big fan of Lewis Hamilton, as well some other F1 drivers and sport figures. I read Hamilton’s autobiography. I found that a great read as it included his journey to F1 and life growing up from the young age of 8 when he started karting.
What would be your dream project?
My dream project would be to work with an F1 team on a car and toward a championship. I would like to be a team pit mechanic or maybe someone’s race engineer.
What’s your favourite Newcastle neighbourhood and why?
The City centre. Not sure what to call that, but it has everything you’d want: The beaches, the Foreshore and King Edward Park. I also like that norrow end of Hunter street. I guess its not exactly one neighbourhood but its virtually one stretch of road and it’s all great.
Can you name a local hero?
Jets Goalkeeper Mark Birighitti pops into mind. He’s great at what he does. I also met him once which was a good experience. Also people close to me growing up around here.
What do you look forward to doing most in Newcastle in summer?
The beaches, obviously. I’m not much of a swimmer but I love the atmosphere at the beach.
Also cycling around King Edward Park and around the road on the Esplanade. It’ll be really hot and tough, but a least not as cold and gloomy as it is in winter.
Warming up, I used to like winter but not so much anymore growing up. But maybe to try and go to the mountains for the snow.
Where and what was the last greatest meal you had in Newcastle?
It would have to be Adam’s Ribs and Pizza in Adamstown. They make amazing ribs, don’t know how they do it.
Best place to getaway to?
Switzerland is amazing. One of the best places I’ve been to.
Your #1 Newcastle insiders tip?
Relax and soak it all in, everything you need is here.