Jason and Laura Kenny join the biggest names in cycling for charity dinner
The biggest names in British cycling have helped to raise an incredible £285,000 for children’s charity Action Medical Research at its annual Champions of CycleSport Dinner.
The glittering event at Battersea Evolution last night (Thursday, 24 November) saw surprise guest Jason Kenny join wife Laura Kenny on the red carpet to raise money to help save and change children’s lives.
Also showing their support for Action Medical Research were Jody Cundy MBE, fresh from his double gold victory in the Rio Paralympics, 2012 Olympic champion Dani King MBE and Team GB road cyclist Geraint Thomas MBE.
Katie Archibald, Laura’s Olympic team mate in the record-breaking women's team pursuit quartet, and fellow gold medal winner Steven Burke MBE were in attendance too.
“This was one of the best events that Action Medical Research has put on - it’s fantastic to be part of such an impressive celebration of cycling talent,” says Jody Cundy. “The atmosphere in the room is great and it’s humbling to see how generous everyone is for such an important cause.”
The seventh annual Champions of CycleSport Dinner, supported by Maserati and Garmin who’ll both be returning as sponsors in 2017, was opened by former rowing world champion and double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell OBE.
Also on the guest list were Movistar's Alex Dowsett, JLT-Condor’s Russ Downing, mountain biking legend Martyn Ashton and Jack Bauer from Cannondale-Drapac. Darren Kenny OBE and Rochelle Gilmore, Team Manager for Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling, were joined by Stephen Roche and Dean Downing as well as Scottish former professional road racing cyclist David Millar.
Presenter O. J. Borg acted as MC during the evening and Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan conducted frank and fascinating interviews on stage with celebrities including Geraint Thomas and Laura and Jason Kenny.
Alex Dowsett, whose Little Bleeders charity supports young people with blood disorders, spoke about his battle with haemophilia as a child.
“I spent time on crutches and even in a wheelchair when I was growing up because of haemophilia-related problems, but a child growing up in the UK now won’t have any of those issues, because of the research that charities like Action Medical Research have done. I would urge anyone to support them as their work really can change the lives of future generations.”
Dame Kelly Holmes DBE joined the stars at the event along with long-term Action supporter Dr Dawn Harper and 5 News Tonight presenter Matt Barbet.
The star-studded gala dinner, which is also sponsored by BDOVELO, marks the end of another successful season of high-profile rides for the children’s charity: this year more than 6,000 riders raised a total of £829,500 across all of Action’s cycling events.
Action Medical Research launched its most extreme cycling challenge yet for cycling fans at the event: the new Orobus challenge on Sunday, 13 August 2017, which will push even the most experienced sportive riders to their limits on a 250-mile route from Bath to London… and back again.
As well as the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the sport’s greatest riders, guests had the chance to bid for some unmissable lots. The auction, which was sponsored by Keepmoat, included a signed painting of Chris Froome by Paul Oz, a Smeg fridge signed by many of the celebrity guests on the night and tickets to the Tour de France. An impromptu offer of a ride out with Geraint Thomas and Laura and Jason Kenny, as well as backstage passes to see Elton John in concert, raised £5,000.
Action Medical Research's Senior Partnership Development Manager Sarah Stevenson said: “We were delighted to see such an incredible number of cycling champions in the room for our event, all working so hard to help us raise this fantastic amount to help sick and disabled babies and children across the UK.
“It was an amazing evening and it really does emphasise that cycling is such an important part of our fundraising work. But aside from the glitz and glamour, there's also the serious message that medical research for children is underfunded in the UK. For every project Action funds there’s another one we have to turn away because of a lack of funds, so this event makes an enormous difference to our work.”
For more than 60 years Action Medical Research has helped pioneer treatments and ways to prevent disease that have benefited millions of people in the UK and across the world. Research they’ve funded has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths.
The charity is currently funding research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
For more information on Action Medical Research, please visit action.org.uk
Event sponsors Garmin are offering supporters the chance to raise money for Action when they purchase a Fenix Chronos watch on their website - just enter the code ACTION10 and Garmin will donate 10 per cent to help save and change children's lives.
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To download high-res images of the 2016 Champions of CycleSport Dinner, please click on the links below:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Officine Alfieri Maserati was founded on 1 December, 1914 in Bologna, Italy. Since then, Maserati has played a consistently important role in the history of sports car culture and its development. Every Maserati is like a work of art, its perfection expressing the marque’s proud history. Celebrating over 100 years of unmistakable styling and technological innovation, Maserati is a company in rapid expansion. With presence in 65 markets worldwide, its role is clearly confirmed as an international ambassador of Italian excellence. This excellence is conveyed every day with passion through products of outstanding performance seen in the GranTurismo, GranCabrio, Ghibli, Quattroporte and the new Levante SUV.
For more information on Maserati, visit maserati.co.uk
About Garmin International Inc:
Garmin International Inc. is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation. Since 1989, this group of companies has designed, manufactured, marketed and sold navigation, communication and information devices and applications – most of which are enabled by GPS technology. Garmin’s products serve automotive, mobile, wireless, outdoor recreation, marine, aviation, and OEM applications. A component of the S&P 500 index, Garmin Ltd. is incorporated in Switzerland, and its principal subsidiaries are located in the United States, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Garmin is a registered trademark of Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved.
BDOVELO is a club that provides a forum for senior business executives to meet whilst sharing their passion for cycling. The sport is becoming ever more popular with this group of people but there are very few opportunities to network with each other at cycling based events. BDOVELO aims to fill this gap by organising regular rides and non-ride events with a cycling theme where executives can get together to share experiences and do business. For more information on BDOVELO visit www.bdovelo.cc
Keepmoat is a top 10 UK housing and construction company. Working together with housing associations and local authorities, Keepmoat designs, builds, refurbishes and regenerates places to improve economic and social outcomes for people across Great Britain.
Keepmoat’s specific areas of expertise include: new build homes, community regeneration, responsive maintenance, retirement solutions and energy efficient technology.
Keepmoat employs over 3,500 people across Great Britain, with 9% of its workforce made up of trainees, apprentices and graduates.
For more information about Keepmoat, please visit keepmoat.com
For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Ellie Evans, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
T 01403 327480
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For more than 60 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.
Join our fight for little lives today.
Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.