PROFESSIONAL CRICKETERS' TRUST PRESS RELEASE
Fundraising target surpassed in support of Professional Cricketers’ Trust.
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Forty-seven riders conquered the Headingley to Lord’s bike ride challenge this weekend, incredibly raising over £75,000 for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust in doing so.
The gruelling challenge saw 435km covered in the space of three days as fundraisers passed through Lincoln and Cambridge on their journey between two of the country’s most storied cricket grounds.
The group of 47, including former England stars Tim Bresnan, Joe Denly and Ryan Sidebottom, was made up of past and present professional cricketers, sponsors, PCA partners and PCA staff, who all generously gave up their time at the end of a long 2021 season to raise money for those most in need of the Trust’s support.
Soon after riders passed through the famous Grace Gate at the Home of Cricket on Sunday afternoon, the ambitious fundraising target of £75,000 was passed, and donations to mark the group’s incredible achievement remain open.
A special mention must go to PCA Chair and Trust Director James Harris, who not only cycled from his Cardiff home to the start line at Headingley ahead of the challenge, but also covered the 268km from London to south Wales via Oxford the day after the group arrived back at Lord’s.
In total, Harris covered over 1,000km during his mammoth round trip, which took place over six days rather than three – a simply staggering effort in aid of the Trust.
The Headingley to Lord’s bike ride was the Trust’s first major physical fundraising challenge since the Three Peaks of Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon were summitted in 2019.
Generously sponsored by BGC Partners, Halford’s, Le Col and Applied Nutrition, it was the players’ charity’s first cycling event since Big Bike Ride 3, which ran between Edgbaston Stadium and Sophia Gardens in November 2017.
The £75,000 and counting raised provides a welcome boost for the Trust after the charity suffered an estimated fundraising shortfall of £140,000 in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
All funds raised will go towards helping the charity continue its life-changing work on behalf of PCA members and their immediate families. Support offered by the Trust can include but is not limited to: mental health counselling, advice in difficult situations and the provision of specialist medical equipment.
England and Kent man, Joe Denly, reflected on a memorable weekend: “It was a long, brutal but ultimately very enjoyable few days doing the Headingley to Lord’s bike ride. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved and who got us through the 435km in one piece.
“The Professional Cricketers’ Trust has an amazing team and I’d like to thank everyone who has donated over the past few days to help me reach my target, but more importantly to contribute towards an amazing charity in the Trust. Who knows? Maybe I’ll sign up for the next event, too!”
Professional Cricketers’ Trust Head of Fundraising, Kathryn Ford, said: “On the back of one of our most challenging years ever in 2020, it was incredible to see the level of support for the Trust throughout the Headingley to Lord’s bike ride. I would like to show my gratitude to all of the riders who took part – you were simply amazing!
“However, the event would not have happened without the generous support of sponsors and partners, so thanks must also go to BGC Partners, Halford’s, Le Col and Applied Nutrition for making the bike ride possible.”
PCA Chief Executive and Trust Director, Rob Lynch, said: “It is vital that past and present professional cricketers continue to have access to the range of support offered by the Trust, and that is why events like this are so important.
“As I lined up on the start line, it was inspiring to see such a large group of people, including many PCA members, giving up their time to support the amazing work of our charity, and I would like to thank everyone involved for doing so.”