Cyclists from an all-inclusive group joined Paralympian champion Darren Kenny OBE in a sponsored relay ride through the beautiful New Forest.
The “Pass the Pedal” event was geared towards several aims, including increasing awareness, raising funds and celebrating achievement.
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 Big Lottery 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.
Donna Neseyif, Inclusive Cycling Project Manager, said: “The riders were all regular inclusive cycling users taking part in the event to raise vital funds for PEDALL.
The teams had a gold-painted pedal to pass on as a baton – hence the ‘Pass the Pedal’ theme.”
The event was also designed to coincide with PEDALL moving to its new home in Burley. Donna said: “The base is essential to the long-term sustainability of the project as it provides an area to maintain the bikes and acts as a hub where volunteers can meet.
We also wanted to raise community awareness of the project. PEDALL would not be here if it wasn’t for our passionate volunteers and supporters.
We would love to recruit additional help so that we can grow the service.
The event also provided our riders with an opportunity to meet others and to challenge themselves whilst creating a great sense of personal and team achievement.”
Pass the Pedal was supported by a range of businesses, including ExxonMobil Fawley as Gold Sponsor.
Alison Jones, Community Affairs Manager, said: “ExxonMobil is committed to being an inclusive and diverse company.
It’s important that we also demonstrate those values in the local community where we work and live, and so we were honoured to support the Pass the Pedal sponsored ride.
“This was a truly inspirational way of proving that anything is possible when people work together to achieve their goals.
It’s hard to think of a better way of celebrating that than with a sponsored ride through our glorious New Forest National Park.”
Donna added: “We are very grateful to ExxonMobil Fawley and all our other sponsors for their support.
We would also like to thank Darren Kenny for taking part and for handing out the medals at the end of the event, and to Michael Turner who kindly made and donated the trophy for the winning team.
It was a great day and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who took part.”