PCA: Trust’s London to Paris Ride leaves Kia Oval

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Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association

£50,000 fundraising target as charity challenge celebrates World Mental Health Day

  • Professional Cricketers’ Trust’s London to Paris Bike Ride takes place 10-12 October
  • Challenge departs on World Mental Health Day
  • If £50,000 target raised, it will help over 50 individuals with life-changing mental health support
  • Davidson-Richards, Bracey, Clark and Worrall amongst names riding for players’ charity

The Professional Cricketers’ Trust London to Paris Charity Bike Ride departed a sun-drenched Kia Oval on Tuesday morning to kick-start World Mental Health Day.

Over 30 riders gathered in South East London as they prepared themselves for the bucket list 418km challenge that culminates at the Eiffel Tower late on Thursday. Split into four groups, teams contained a mixture of current and former players, commercial partners, stakeholders and cricket supporters.

The challenge is the flagship event in the 2023 calendar for the players’ charity with Brooks Macdonald sponsoring the ride and the Kerry London logo sported on the side of all headwear as the helmet sponsor.

The epic ride from London to Paris on two wheels started through the John Edrich Gates at the home of Surrey with Jordan Clark and Dan Worrall joined by England pair Alice Davidson-Richards and Freya Davies. Gloucestershire’s James Bracey also began to navigate the capital’s traffic along with Middlesex’s Martin Andersson and Worcestershire’s Rob Jones.

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.

Leaving on the morning of World Mental Health Day, the challenge 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.

You can keep across the ride on the Trust’s social accounts where Davidson-Richards will be keeping followers updated with video diary updates as the group cross the Channel to help the players’ charity continue to support those past and present players who have fallen on hard times.

Professional Cricketers’ Trust Director and Glamorgan bowler, James Harris, said: “The Trust is so important, it takes care of so many people in such a fabulous way, when times are hard. We need to keep raising money and keep it conscious in everyone’s minds.

“What an amazing day to start on World Mental Health Day, if we can keep raising the awareness of the brilliant work that the Trust does surrounding past and present players’ mental health, then that would be great.”

England and South East Stars all-rounder, Alice Davidson-Richards, said: “It’s comforting knowing that we have the support of the Trust if and when we do need it, it’s an important part of the cricket community.

“Starting on World Mental Health Day means we can have more conversations surrounding mental health and it’s something that I’ve needed to do recently around the situation with my dad, to make sure I keep my head straight.”

Gloucestershire wicketkeeper-batter, James Bracey, said: “I enjoyed the last ride so much and I’ve seen how the Trust has helped a few of my teammates and it’s really important for us players to give back.

“It’s great to start of World Mental Health Day and speaking to some of the staff and the players, the help that they’ve been receiving is second to none and it’s great that we’re able to support that.

“You’ve got to enjoy it, take it easy, use the people around you and they’ll drive you on to make sure you get there, it’s a cracking three days.”

Former Lancashire and Leicestershire bowler and current Brooks Macdonald Private Clients Administrator, Gavin Griffiths, said: “This is my second year out the professional game so it felt like a nice time as I’m working at Brooks Macdonald, to support the Trust. I’ve seen the work that they do during your career and afterwards too, so I wanted to help contribute to raising money.

“I’ve experienced what work the Trust does during Covid and they were there for plenty of other players too.”

New Worcestershire recruit, Rob Jones, said: “Everyone has their own situation but the Trust is always there for you whether you’ve played for one year or 20 years, they’re always just a phone call away.

“When it gets tough you’ve just got to think of all the people that the Trust will be able to help out with the money that we’re raising.

“If we can keep breaking down the stigma around mental health that will be great, I’ve used to Trust myself and it’s really helped me out.”

Surrey seamer, Dan Worrall, said: “It’s great knowing you have the support of the Trust, it’s like a family that we’re all a part of and we can count on if we fall on hard times.

“World Mental Health Day is an important day in the calendar for a lot of people because it starts conversations around mental health that help people discover that they don’t have to do everything themselves and the ride can help play a role in starting those conversations.”

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