On Sunday 9th May a team from COINS packed up their bikes and gathered in Surrey to participate in the 2021 Kelly’s Cycle event.
Challengers provide inclusive play and leisure for disabled children and young people, supporting over 1,400 individuals across Guildford and the surrounding areas and COINS Foundation have been long-term supporters of their work and play schemes.
Like many charitable organisations, Challengers rely on fundraising activities for a portion of their income so when restrictions on social gatherings were implemented and a number of events had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, this affected them hugely. Alongside the reduction of fundraising opportunities, Challengers had to make some big changes in order to continue being able to offer their play schemes in a safe and responsible way during this time, where the introduction of online sessions became a popular choice for many.
The event is a great day for cyclists of all levels so whether you’ve taken it up during lockdown as a new hobby or you’re a seasoned cyclist looking for a challenge, there’s something for everyone. Distances range from a 23 mile open road cycle to 72 miles but the key features that surround the day are: participation, enjoyment and helping to make a difference. The team of twelve from COINS utilised the full range of distances available to support Challengers and their play schemes, which make a huge difference to the individuals and families of those who attend their schemes.
With last year’s event falling in the middle of lockdown, Challengers were forced to postpone so this year’s cycle was long-awaited for many. A regular fixture in the COINS diary, many missed the opportunity to get out in the countryside and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with the day, so a virtual concept was introduced with the contributions from the entry fees going to Challengers and their work. Whilst the virtual event was a great way to encourage exercise and well-being (as well as adding some healthy competition), the relaxing of lockdown restrictions brought the perfect opportunity to welcome back Kelly’s Cycle Challenge in person.
A great day for all and, hopefully the start of many events for Challengers.