Wheels Go Round To Raise Thousands
THE AIM was to cycle 1,500 miles – without actually going anywhere – to raise £1,500 pounds for the Eastern Counties region of the rugby children’s charity Wooden Spoon. In the end the members and friends of the Essex Freemasons Lodge of XV, along with rugby clubs across the county, ratcheted up 1,610 miles riding in relay on a dozen static bikes at Braintree Indoor Revolution and raising just under £3,000, with £2,100 for Wooden Spoon.
The man behind the innovative fundraising scheme was Lodge member and Braintree’s RFC first team captain John Smillie. A keen cyclist and fundraiser, he admitted most of the Lodge members were novice cyclists at best.
“Thirty riders turned out on the day, all very well supported. The idea was to bring together players and members of rugby teams across the county with Lodge of XV members and friends. Each rider had to complete a minimum of 55 miles, with some doing a full 110 mile leg,” said John Smillie.
Owners of the Indoor Revolution in Braintree, Luke Nash and Dean Stonestreet donated their venue for free. Members of Braintree, Writtle Wanderers, Police RFC, Old Brentwoods and Essex Bishops RFC took part. The event was a huge success and after six hours and 20 minutes of pedalling they raised £2,975.
Apart from supporting Wooden Spoon money went to the Lodges own development fund. This fund helps youngsters of local teams buy training clothes and equipment, encouraging grass roots rugby at foundation level.