Several well-known rugby stars gathered together to wish participants of the Club Together event good luck, before the three-day charity cycling event.
The participants’ quest was to cycle to every rugby club in Norfolk, from Thetford to Great Yarmouth. Despite less-than-ideal weather conditions, over 80 cyclists partook in the event, riders camping on pitches before setting out again, riding for approximately 100 miles a day.
Among those who congratulated the team for their efforts were rugby players Joe Launchbury and Adam Jones, who play for the Wasps and the Harlequins respectively, as well as Good Morning Britain presenters Eamonn Holmes and Lucy Verasamy.
The event was considerably more successful than anticipated, with the total raised currently standing at over £120,000 compared to the initial target which stood at £100,000. Half the funds were raised for Wooden Spoon, the self-proclaimed “children’s charity of rugby,” which was founded in 1983 and focuses on supporting children with disabilities.
To date, they have helped over one million children through projects such as specialised playgrounds and sports activity areas. Additionally, the rugby clubs that chose to take part in Club Together had the opportunity to nominate their own charities in an effort to support community-based initiatives. The list of charities that were supported in this manner included Norfolk Special Olympics, Red Balloon, Restart Rugby and MIND.
The Club Together’ organisers will hope that as well as raising a significant amount of funds for the nominated charities, the event will also raise awareness. In the UK approximately one in every hundred children born have some form of life-long disability, which has considerable impact on their quality of life.
According to the Papworth Trust, 84 percent of working-age, non-disabled people in 2016 had some form of employment while only 46.5 percent of disabled people under this category could say the same. Additionally, it is estimated that 40 percent of disabled children live in poverty.