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Mammoth Cardiff to Paris bike ride raises more than £30k for Community Foundation

Community | 1st July 2022

More than £30,000 was raised by cyclists who arrived in Paris last Thursday following their epic 500km bike ride in aid of the Cardiff Rugby Community Foundation.

A mix of Cardiff Rugby players, staff, sponsors and supporters took part in the ride, which departed the Arms Park last Monday and took the cyclists through Bath, Portsmouth, Caen, Evreux and finally to the foot of the iconic Eiffel Tower in the French capital.

The club’s Chief Executive, Richard Holland was one of the participants and he was thrilled with the collective achievement and dedication of the riders and delighted with the fundraising total.

He said: “It seems a long time ago that we left Cardiff, but 500km and the hardest part has probably been the heat, if the truth be known, but it’s an amazing achievement and we have raised over £30,000. 

“It will help the Community Foundation massively and we are so grateful to those that took part, dug in and got to Paris.  

“It will enable us to engage with more people within the foundation and Nadine Griffiths will start planning that.  She actually headed off to La Manga straight after the ride for another fundraiser event with Wasps.  

“The foundation is going from strength to strength and any more money that we can raise, the channels are still open and we urge you to get behind it.”

“The hardest part is probably day three. At the end of day two you get on the ferry from Portsmouth, get very little sleep and then have to cycle 90 miles to Evreux, which is hugely challenging with the heat and lots of climbs. 

“Our thanks goes to all the riders, who sacrificed so much to prepare, their families for all the support and every person, who has donated or helped along the way. 

“A special mention must be given to Max Llewellyn and Teddy Williams, the two of the players that joined us. We had more sign up, but Wales call ups and injuries have meant that they were the only two that made it.

“There was also good representation from the workforce on the administration and let's give them a massive round of applause for getting behind it as well.”  

First team squad members Llewellyn and Williams now begin their pre-season preparations.

Williams said: “It was great to take part in the bike ride and it was a far more challenging than we expected. 

“That said, it was still enormously enjoyable and you meet and build relationships with so many great people, who you perhaps didn’t know or didn’t know very well before.

“The way our group bonded and developed as a team that worked together over the four days was really impressive and there were definitely things like communication, teamwork and leadership, which are so transferable to rugby.

“Everyone did incredibly well to complete the challenge and most of us are already saying we want to do the next!”

Every penny will now go to the club’s Community Foundation, which uses the power of sport to inspire, engage and improve opportunities for all, proving there is a rugby jersey for all.

The Foundation which provides rugby opportunities for all abilities and numerous educational, health and wellbeing programmes also encompasses the #StayStrongForOws campaign, which continues to support former Cardiff and Wales centre Owen Williams, who suffered a catastrophic neck injury in 2014.

Cardiff Rugby Community Foundation director Nadine Griffiths said: “it’s been a massive week for the foundation with not only the bike ride but the Golf event at La Manga”

“My sincere thanks and admiration goes to all of rhe riders who took part in the challenge, I drove one of rhe support vehicles and saw first hand some of the hills they had to get up and I was in awe of their effort, dedication and camaraderie.

“The money raised will make an enormous difference to the Doundation and will help us to further support our communities and people in our communities, where they need it the most.

"The money will be used to further support our disability and Inclusion offering, wheelchair rugby, VI Rugby and increasing the amount of services for our Inclusive clubs for children living with a disability by opening 2 new inclusive clubs.

"We will also run many free fit and fed camps throughout the region during the summer holidays which are free activity camps where every child attending gets a free meal in a bid to try to combat Holiday Hunger.

"We know from our communities that many people are struggling and the poverty gap is unfortunately getting bigger. But we need to ensure that, by using the values of sport, our heritage and our brand that we continue to support our community family as much as we can”