First published in the Saddleworth Independent
RUGBY greats Kevin Sinfield and Barrie McDermott were among 35 riders who took part in a sponsored bike ride which is expected to raise £25,000 for the family of former Saddleworth Rangers’ chairman Shane ‘Jocky’ Wilson.
The 32-mile challenge ‘Ride for Jocky’ was from Rangers’ Shaw Hall Bank Road home across the moors to the George Hotel, Huddersfield, the birthplace of rugby league and back again, initially had a £10,000 target to help fund any future treatments Shane may need in an ongoing battle against bowel cancer.Sadly, Shane died three days after the ride aged 50, and it has since been decided the money should help support Shane’s family.
The initial plan was for 20 riders to take part in the ride on December 28 with each sponsored by a business which pledged £500 to raise £10,000. The limit was imposed because of safety fears in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.
As the 20 places were quickly snapped up, organisers Shane Tupaea and Karen Thompson raised the number to 30 riders with that increased again to 35, 22 of who were sponsored by businesses raising £11,000.
Apart from the sum from business sponsorship, a GofundMe page has raised more than £11,200 while individual sponsorship is expected to take the overall figure beyond £25,000.
Karen is delighted with the response saying it showed the love and support of everyone at the club for Shane.
For Kevin Sinfield and Darrel Rogers, the ride was especially poignant as they jointly coached Rangers’ Under-15s with Shane.
Kevin has earlier in the month raised almost £2.7million for Motor Neurone Disease Association by running seven marathons in seven days.That fundraiser was brought about by his former Leeds Rhino team-mate Rob Burrow being struck down by MND.
Kevin wanted to incorporate Rob’s number seven shirt number which is why he decided to do the seven marathons on seven days with the hope of raising £77,777.
But after publicity went global, he raised a seven-figure sum.
Darrel had plenty of practice for ‘Ride for Jocky’ as he accompanied Kevin on his marathon challenge, but by bike.
To contribute to ‘Ride for Jocky’ go to https://uk.gofundme.com/f/b7r59f-bike-ride-for-jocky