‘Pass the PEDALL’ charity relay stars gold-medallist ParalympianPUBLISHED ON: 23 MAY 2019
More than 100 people from across Hampshire came together on Wednesday 15 May in the beautiful setting of the New Forest to take part in a charity cycling relay event, led by gold-medallist Paralympian cyclist, Darren Kenny OBE.
The ride, from Brockenhurst to Burley, was organised by PEDALL, a partnership project that provides opportunities for people of all ages with a disability or learning difficulty to enjoy cycling in the New Forest, no matter what challenges they face.
PEDALL is currently supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and the New Forest National Park Authority but, with funding due to come to an end next year, the event was also a fantastic way to showcase the group’s activities and to attract new sponsors.
Five teams, which were all made up of regular users of PEDALL, took part in the event, which saw competitors pass a gold painted pedal as a baton through 20KM of New Forest scenery. Paralympian gold medallist, Darren Kenny OBE, who won gold at the Athens and Beijing Paralympics, led the ride and presented medals to all competitors at the end of the event, the trophy was donated by Michael Turner Sculptors.
The event took place to celebrate the launch of a brand-new base and volunteer hub in Burley, which now means PEDALL has a permanent location to maintain the specially designed bikes and for volunteers to meet and socialise. The event also raised awareness of PEDALL in the local community, with the aim of attracting more people to get involved with the project.
Donna Neseyif, PEDALL Project Manager said ‘What a fabulous day! The new base has made such a difference to PEDALL and the long-term sustainability of the project. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate this with such a fantastic event – providing our riders with new opportunities and sense of achievement. It is a total privilege to be part of the PEDALL team and a huge thank you to everyone including our dedicated volunteers, trustees, funders, business sponsors and supporters. And of course, our fantastic riders who continually inspire us all by achieving far more than they thought they could.’
‘Our funding is due to end next year. We are looking for business sponsors who may be able to help us purchase new bikes and help continue the project’
Gareth Jones, PEDALL Ride Leader said ‘It was great to see so many people working together to make this event happen. Fantastic to see so many smiling faces – it is a reminder of why we do what we do!’
PEDALL provides safe, guided rides in the New Forest for children with a physical disability or learning disability, as well as for people who face other challenges to accessing cycling such as age, confidence or health conditions. The organisation also provides group rides for schools, colleges, care groups and residential homes. The project is currently in the second year of a 3-year grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. In the first year of this funding PEDALL delivered rides for 2,377 people.
If you are interested in finding out more and getting involved, please visit www.pedall.org.uk/help