Cycle challenge in memory of coach Richard

Over 30 members of Wetherby Rugby Union club took on a coast-to-coast cycle challenge with a difference last week to raise money in memory of former player and coach Richard Jones.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 3:08 pm

Earlier this year, an appeal was launched in memory of Richard, who died in January with acute lymphoid leukaemia.

Richard’s father, Mel Jones, who is president of the club was overwhelmed by the response - over £50,000 was raised towards the refurbishment of the Grange Park Clubhouse, with a further £11,000 for Martin House Children’s Hospice, who Richard also supported.

Mel said: “Richard had previously instigated the appeal for the refurbishment, so to have completed it in his memory was such a fitting tribute.

Richard Jones.

“Wetherby Grange Park Clubhouse now has a facility to be proud of and is available for hire for parties, business meetings and the like.”

Richard and friends and family had also been planning a cycle ride this year, so this also went ahead in Richard’s memory, and involved 30 people on the main route, with an additional 40 people taking part in more local rides more suitable for families and children.

The main event took part over two days, with the cyclists starting off from Morecambe in Lancashire and cycling 95 miles back to Wetherby.

The following day, they then started at Bridlington and, riding against a head wind, completed the route from there cycling 75 miles back to Wetherby, completing a total of 170 miles.

The event raised over £19,000 for charitable social enterprise Phoenix Health & Wellbeing, who use the proceeds from their products and services to support local people with chronic mental and physical health issues, who couldn’t normally afford the support they provide.

Gill Trevor from the charity, which recently received a prestigious Queen’s award for Enterprise, was actively involved arranging and supporting the event and added,

“We were delighted with the support from Wetherby RFC, especially with the event being in memory of someone like Richard,” he said. 

“The monies raised will help so many people with mental health issues, who without our support, wouldn’t have access to our services.”

Other club members showed their support baking cakes, putting out rider markers, providing vehicles and first aid, and contributing the celebration BBQ as the riders returned.

The club has already agreed to repeat the cycle ride on September 9 and 10, 2022, to aid Leukaemia Research. To take part contact: [email protected]