Published Friday, 31 July 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the country in many different ways and here in Hinckley and Bosworth it is no different.
Even though residents are returning to a ‘new normal’ there has been a huge surge in outdoor exercising and in particular cycling. As recently as this week the government is suggesting offering cycling on prescription to address the obesity crisis the country is facing. However, not long into lockdown the demand for bikes outweighed supply with waiting lists for new bikes being into October.
Over the past few months the Physical Activity team at Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (HBBC) have been promoting the health benefits of cycling, focussing attention on cycle routes across the borough and advising families how to teach their children how to ride a bike – a lifelong skill. Whilst out and about in the borough they met a father and daughter team from Burbage who have been using their love of cycling to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia.
28-year-old Jess Daly had planned to run the Virgin Money London Marathon in April in aid of Cure Leukaemia before the pandemic struck. Jess, a member of Hinckley Running Club had never run a marathon before but was inspired to take on the 26.2 miles in support of her teenage neighbour who is battling acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and being treated at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Jess’s father Steve Daly saw his work dry up considerably when lockdown began so he was left with a lot of time on his hands. Being a practical person who has always enjoyed cycling and fixing bikes, he decided to offer bike services in the local area in return for donations to Jess’ fundraising page.
Jess said: “Dad posted on the village Facebook page and the response was incredible. People from all over the area were bringing their family’s bikes for service so they could go out for bike rides in the fantastic weather we had recently. Then he asked people if they had spare or unused bikes that could be donated for him to refurbish and sell on and, once again, we could not believe the response. Since mid-May we have had over 70 bikes donated and we have sold more than 150 in return for donations.” As a result of Steve, Jessica and Max’s amazing efforts in raising over £17,000, Cure Leukaemia have offered them places on their 500km, closed-road London to Paris bike ride which is planned to take place 24 to 28 September.
To support their ongoing fundraising HBBC are assisting and supporting a Bike Sale and Maintenance Workshop, following all appropriate COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines and on Saturday 8 August, from 10am to 4pm Jess, Steve and their team will be at Hinckley Rugby Club offering bike basic maintenance services and a range of refurbished bikes for sale with all proceeds going to Cure Leukaemia.
This ties in with another great initiative from one of our local sports clubs. As Hinckley Rugby Club awaits the government's approval of the Rugby Football Union plans to return to playing community rugby, they are embarking on a crowdfunding campaign to ensure the club is in its best possible state when members are able to return. With the door to team sports still closed 60 members of the rugby club, over the weekend 7 to 9 August are taking to static bikes to ride 1,264 miles in 48 hours. Named the ‘The Big Hornet Cycle Ride’, it is the distance between all the clubs the Hinckley Hornets 1st XV will be playing in their new league when the season begins.
Commenting on the event Executive Lead for Leisure, Councillor Keith Nichols said: “From the doom and gloom of the pandemic it is so gratifying to learn about what people are doing to continue to raise funds for good causes and the innovative ways they are doing this. Cycling has always been popular but it is definitely seen a resurgence over the past few months.
“So in support of these two causes and your health can I suggest get your bike out of the shed if it's too small come and donate it and pick up a replacement of the right size all proceeds to Cure Leukaemia or if it just needs some attention get Steve and the team to take a look. Whilst you wait, support the Hinckley Rugby Club volunteer riders with their challenge and our Physical Activity team will also be hand to assist you with any enquiries.”
To sponsor Jess visit Jessica's page (justgiving.com) to sponsor the volunteers riding ‘The Big Hornet Cycle Ride’ visit: Hinckley RFC - Community Facilities Development (crowdfunder.co.uk)
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