Saturday, July 20, 2024

SkegVegas 100-mile bike ride set to return as £50,000 handed over to charities

Organisers of a sponsored 100-mile bike ride which took cyclists from Derby to Skegness have handed over £50,000 to two city charities – and are already looking for people to take part next year.

Cosy Foundation has given the money to the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and Derby Kids’ Camp following the SkegVegas 100 event, which took place in May.

It is the most the bike ride, which was launched in 2013, has ever raised, thanks to the generosity and pedal power of more than 70 participants, whose journey took them from Derby Arena through Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire and to the holiday centre’s door.

It was also the biggest turn-out the ride had ever attracted thanks to a huge effort by its organisers, led by Cosy’s managing director, Dave Hook.

But now Peter Ellse, CEO of the Cosy Foundation, says organisers are looking to go bigger and better next year, with more riders and more money for the charities top of their wish-list.

The money raised will help pay for the charities’ work, which involves providing holidays for under-privileged young people across the county.

The Derbyshire Holiday Children’s Centre treats them to a week at the seaside in Skegness, while Derby Kids’ Camp gives them a week away sleeping under canvas, with games, treats and songs around the campfire at its own site outside Ashbourne.

Next year’s ride will take place on May 17 and there will be a host of new features including a walk called the Ashbourne Amble, a 20-mile trek across the Derbyshire countryside which will take place at the same time.

It is designed to give people who do not fancy embarking on the bike ride a chance to undertake their own fundraising challenge and it also helps reflect the work done by Derby Kids’ Camp.

The bike ride is also being opened up to local businesses, who will be invited to enter teams of four to 10 people and will get their own corporate cycling jerseys to commemorate the occasion.

And there will be a special celebration in the evening in Skegness, where the saddle-sore riders can unwind and swap their cycling tales, complete with refreshments and entertainment.

Peter said: “We learned this year how much of an institution the SkegVegas 100 is, with people returning year after year to take part and raise thousands of pounds for charity.

“We want to build on that by getting as many people involved as possible and raising awareness of these two wonderful charities who give young people a lifetime’s-worth of memories by giving them something everybody else takes for granted – a holiday.

“By organising a walk that will take place at the same time as the bike ride we will attract people who might feel that a 100-mile bike ride is beyond their capability but who are willing to take on a 20-mile hike to Ashbourne, which is just a few miles or so away from Derby Kids’ Camp.

“We also want to make the events extra memorable and reward everyone who is taking part, so what better way than host a party with, we hope, an Elvis impersonator thrown in.”

The SkegVegas 100 ride has become a much-loved fixture in the yearly calendar for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, which, in the same spirit as Derby Kids’ Camp, gives a week’s seaside holiday to underprivileged children from Derby.

Alan Grimadell, chair of the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre, said: “The SkegVegas 100 ride has raised many thousands of pounds over the years and we are thrilled with the success of last month’s event.

“Even though it happened a few weeks ago, Dave and his team have wasted no time in planning next year’s event and we’re all excited with the prospect of raising awareness of the ride even further and incorporating new ways in which to raise money.”

Chris Edwards, chairman of Derby Kids’ Camp, said: “This was our first year of being involved in the SkegVegas ride and the warmth, camaraderie and generosity of everybody who has helped organise it or have taken part has been a true eye-opener.

“They have helped raise an incredible amount of money, which will buy a whole load of happy memories for the young people who come out to our camp to get some fresh air, make new friends and just have fun.”

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