Cricket legend Mike Gatting OBE and TV celebrity diving judge Leon Taylor are two of the initial participants in the inaugural Investec Ashes 2013 Cycle Challenge - a fund-raising event run in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board, and the Lord's Taverners Charity that will involve over 80 individuals cycling 340 miles over five days to the five cricket grounds hosting this year’s Ashes tournament.
The target is to raise over £200,000 to be split between the Lord’s Taverners Charity and a number of local charities round the country1.
Organised by James Bedingfield, a Senior Investment Director in the Sheffield office of Investec Wealth & Investment (“IW&I”), the ride will see participants start at Chester-le-street Cricket Ground in Durham on July 13th and finish at Lord’s on July 17th, the day before the 2nd Test match against Australia, visiting Old Trafford, Trent Bridge and the Oval on the way.
Over 70 employees, clients and guests of Investec, the ECB and the Lord’s Taverners have already signed up for the Challenge, representing eight offices up and down the country - Sheffield, London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, Guildford and Bournemouth. A number of high profile cricket and non-cricket sporting personalities have registered to participate, and more are expected to join in, either for the whole event or just one of the legs.
Mike Gatting OBE, the former England Ashes winning captain, said: "I want to say a big thank you to James and the Investec team for organising the event and raising money for these good causes.
"I’ve been involved in a number of charity walks but this is the first cycling challenge I’ve taken on, and it’ll be interesting to see how I go.
"I’ve already begun to train hard for what I’m expecting will be a very testing challenge. I’m personally involved in raising funds for the Lord’s Taverners, and we are trying to raise enough money to buy a number of specially-adapted mini buses so disabled kids can access sport."
Leon Taylor, the British Olympic medal-winning diver and judge on ITV’s Splash! programme, said: “I enjoy taking on a challenge, and this will be a tough but enjoyable one. Most dives take around 1.5 seconds to complete and this will take considerably longer.
"As a client of Investec Wealth & Investment I’m delighted to be involved – it’s inspirational to see people like James building something like this from scratch to the enormous benefit of a number of worthwhile causes to make a difference."
James Bedingfield at Investec Wealth & Investment said: "This is a major fund-raising event for a number of marvellous charities throughout the UK and helps build on Investec’s relationship with Test match cricket. A few places are still available for anyone interested in participating.
"We are very grateful for the support we have received both internally from fellow IW&I staff and the likes of the ECB, Lord’s Taverners, Mike and Leon. It has been exceptional and I’m confident we can raise substantial funds for our chosen charities and have great fun at the same time."
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