Star-studded first Champions of CycleSport Dinner raises £64,000 for Action Medical Research
Some of the biggest names on two wheels attended the first Champions of CycleSport Dinner in aid of children’s health charity Action Medical Research. Olympic gold medallists Nicole Cooke and Chris Boardman were among 400 guests at the event, held at the Emirates Stadium in London, which raised more than £64,000.
Other stars from the world of cycling included British Cycling's performance director Dave Brailsford (also manager of Team Sky), Tour de France riders David Millar and Geraint Thomas, and former pro riders John Herety, now manager of the Rapha Condor team, and Sean Yates, director of Team Sky. Meanwhile four-time British Bike Trial Champion Martyn Ashton impressed guests with an on-the-night display of his riding skills.
The evening was hosted by newsreader Dermot Murnaghan, himself a keen cyclist who has ridden with Action Medical Research on two of its overseas tours since 2009. Other celebrity guests included Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley, Gary Kemp and John Keeble, along with Martin Fry, lead singer of fellow ‘80s pop band ABC.
As well as the opportunity to mix with some of cycling’s greatest riders, guests also had the chance to bid for top cycling prizes in the auction. Lots included jerseys signed by star riders such as Chris Hoy, an introductory session on the track at the Wales National Velodrome and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy a half-day’s training ride with Nicole Cooke herself.
The event was supported by Cycling Plus magazine, whose editor Rob Spedding presented a special achievement award to the Barking Badgers team of cyclists, led by Andy Dewhurst, who have raised a staggering £963,000 for Action Medical Research over the last eight years.
Nicole Cooke, Cycling Ambassador for Action Medical Research, said: "This was such a great event, I really enjoyed the atmosphere and could feel that we were all there to support Action Medical Research and the great work that they do as a charity. There were a lot of friends from the cycling world, who I enjoyed seeing and catching up with after the season, and I also made new friends on the night. I'm really thrilled about the amount of money we raised and it is great to know that by taking part we all contributed to the research projects and work that is being supported by this important charity."
Lewis Coghlin, Director of Fundraising at Action Medical Research, said: "The evening was a great success and we are really grateful to everyone who supported us and raised so much to help us fund vital medical research to help save and change children's lives. It was fantastic to see so many top cyclists join us, including our Cycling Ambassador Nicole Cook, and we're now looking at how we can make the next Champions of CycleSport Dinner even better."
Rob Spedding, editor of Cycling Plus magazine, said: “The Champions of CycleSport Dinner was the perfect example of how a love of sport can bring people together to raise money for a brilliant cause. It was fantastic to see riders who’d raised money for Action Medical Research mixing with cycling stars such as Nicole Cooke, Chris Boardman and David Millar, and it was a real privilege to present Andy Dewhurst and the Barking Badgers with the Cycling Plus Champions of CycleSport award. I hope this is just the start for the event!”
Action Medical Research has built up an enviable programme of cycling events, including the 100 Series of one-day regional UK rides, the highly competitive RIDE24 relay race and the biggest London to Paris ride in the charity sector. In 2010, the charity has raised more than £1.9m through cycling.
The programme for 2011 will include five new regional UK rides, including the Cross Pennine 100 and Lake District 100. There will also be a women’s-only event led by TV’s Davina McCall and new overseas tour the 3 Cities Challenge, which starts in London and takes in Amsterdam and Brussels, arriving to coincide with the annual Belgian beer festival.
Money raised by the charity helps fund medical research into conditions affecting babies and children. Research currently being supported by Action Medical Research includes work around meningitis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and premature birth, as well as some very rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
For more details on Action Medical Research cycling events, go to www.action.org.uk/cycling
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Notes to editors:
For press information about Action Medical Research and its cycling programme please contact:
Clare Airey, Senior Press & PR Officer
Tel: 01403 327480
Action Medical Research is the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children. We know that medical research can save and change children’s lives. For nearly 60 years we have been instrumental in significant medical breakthroughs, including the development of the UK polio vaccine and ultrasound scanning in pregnancy.
Today, we continue to find and fund the very best medical research to help stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability. We want to make a difference in:
· tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
· helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
· targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.