How it all Began
Wishing to engage and involve the south-west community and introduce an interesting and inclusive fundraising event, St John of God Bunbury Hospital took inspiration from the famous Knaresborough Bed Race in the UK and developed The Great South West Bed Race.
The Great South West Bed Race Committee owe a huge amount of gratitude to Knaresborough Lions for guiding us through the process of organising such an event. Starting in 1966 with just 4 competing teams, the Knaresborough Bed Race has become an institution in the UK, now attracting more than 30,000 spectators each year and creating the need for teams to enter a lottery in order to secure their spot to participate.
We are grateful for the permission we were granted to utilise the UK photos before we have our own. The kindness of the Knaresborough Lions to share their expertise with the Great South West Bed Race Committee is deeply appreciated.
The Great South West Bed Race is the first bed race of its kind in Australia, with other bed races based on the Knaresborough Bed Race hosted elsewhere in the UK, and in other countries such as the USA, Germany, South Africa and New Zealand.
Originally the idea was to push actual decommissioned hospital beds around a pre-determined course but with their minimal manoeuvrability, it was decided teams would build their own beds according to set specifications.
Not wanting to do away with the hospital beds altogether, the CEO Sprint idea was born and is perfect for anyone who’s dreamed of strapping their boss to a hospital bed and sprinting the race course, all in the name of charity.