Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
Play your part in cricket’s £50,000 mental health fundraiser
Have you got what it takes to pedal from London to Paris in aid of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust this October?
The challenge begins on 10 October 2023, coinciding with World Mental Health Day. Providing the perfect opportunity to bring mental health to the forefront of people’s minds, the players’ charity will use the awareness day to highlight the need to raise funds to combat the growing trend of welfare and wellbeing issues through a bucket list charity challenge.
The Trust was created to support the life-long health and wellbeing of past and present cricketers and their immediate families. As part of professional cricket’s leading charity, the Trust funds life-changing assistance through expert advice, rehabilitation programmes and a dedicated 24-hour Confidential Helpline, all vital services that riders will be using as inspiration throughout three day cycle.
The headline event for the charity in 2023 is aiming to raise £50,000, a substantial figure given the Trust operates with no funding partner at present. If achieved, the successful riders will secure enough donations to provide life-changing and in some cases life-saving mental health support for over 50 individuals.
Thunder all-rounder Fi Morris is one player who received help and publically stated that the Trust ‘saved her life’. In an interview, the 28-year-old revealed that she entered the professional game with worries surrounding depression and anxiety which were heightened by the pressures of professional sport. She managed to overcome her debilitating issues with the help of the Trust.
“The camaraderie and friendships you build up is something very special and fair to say crossing that finish line is one of the biggest sense of achievements I’ve ever had.”
Former player, Simon Cusden, received help from the other side of the world after a suicide attempt. Within 20 minutes of making the call, the players’ charity had agreed to offer full support for Cusden who spent three months in the Broadway Lodge addiction rehabilitation centre. The former Kent and Derbyshire fast bowler’s recovery has been inspirational with the 37-year-old becoming a father to twins in 2022.
With places limited to just 60 riders, don’t hesitate in signing up to take on this physical challenge that will see you cover more than 400km as you travel from London to Paris through historic towns, passing picturesque countryside and crossing the finish line in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower.
There is no better way to kick-start your 2023 than committing to a charity challenge where you know you will be making a real difference to more than 50 people in desperate need. The ride provides a great opportunity for current and former players to get together with commercial partners and raise some much needed money for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.
The last bike ride to take place in aid of the Trust saw 47 riders travel from Headingley to Lord’s in 2021, raising a phenomenal £75,000.
This year, the Trust is working with pie (Passion in Events) who offer bespoke guided rides for companies, charities and groups of individuals.
With guaranteed fun and fulfilment, here is what you can expect by saddling up for the Trust in 2023:
- Day One – Tuesday 10 October: Ride from the Kia Oval to Portsmouth (149km), the route takes the riders through the wonderful scenery of the North and South Downs, the route is rather hilly but much of the afternoon is spent going downhill towards Portsmouth.
- Day Two – Wednesday 11 October: Ride from Caen to Evreux (145km), the ferry arrives early into Ouistreham where we have breakfast. The will be three stops along the way through the French countryside before dinner at a local restaurant in Evreux.
- Day Three – Thursday 12 October: Ride from Evreux to Paris (124km), the final day’s route includes a stop at the fabulous Palace of Versailles before heading into the Parisian suburbs and towards the Eiffel Tower.
- Day Four – Friday 13 October: Travel Home. The riding is over! You’ll have time to take in the French capital before returning to the UK on the Eurostar.
- Full support crew dealing with hotels, luggage and pit stops.
- Hotel and ferry accommodation for three nights.
- Two fully qualified medics.
- All food from a light breakfast on the first day to breakfast on the Friday.
- One pie bike ride guide for every 10 cyclists.
- Bike transportation back to the UK.
- Eurostar trip from Paris back to UK.
- All participants will be asked to fundraise a minimum of £1,600 which will include a contribution to the cost of the trip.
- A deposit of £150 is required on sign-up.
PCA Chair and Professional Cricketers’ Trust Director, James Harris, said: “All of the bike rides to date have been brilliant and they raise money for a great cause. The Trust means a huge amount to me. The cricket family is a very close knit community and to know that the Professional Cricketers’ Trust is there to support players and their families whenever they may need it is incredible. Having seen first-hand the brilliant work that they do, it makes me continue to strive to support in any way that I can.”
Photo Credit: LinkedIn Profile Photo James Harris
PCA Vice Chair, Heather Knight, said: “Completing one of the bike rides for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust was extremely rewarding and something that I would encourage everyone to get involved in. Just knowing that you’re helping to raise money for such a good cause really does keep you going and make you strive to get to the finish line. The Trust is so important for the players because it looks after us when we need it most, so hopefully lots of people sign up for London to Paris 2023.”
Professional Cricketers’ Trust Director, Marcus Trescothick, said: “I really enjoyed being involved in Trust bike rides. Getting together with everyone at the end of a long day over a cold drink and discussing the trials and tribulations was always a memorable moment for me. The best part is always knowing that we’re raising funds for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, something that is very close to me. The Trust helped me when I really needed it and they continue to support many past and present players when they fall on hard times.”
Kent top-order batter, Joe Denly, said: “The camaraderie and friendships you build up is something very special and fair to say crossing that finish line is one of the biggest sense of achievements I’ve ever had. More importantly it’s why everyone is taking part, to support the incredible Trust. A charity that looks after the cricketing family, not only past and present players but the families of those players too. A special charity and a special ride that raises so much for such a good cause.”
The London to Paris challenge is open to anyone so please tell your friends and family and spread the word as much as possible.