Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice in Coventry has received a fundraising boost thanks to the success of a charity bike ride which was the first event of the European City of Sport year.
Participants in the 2019 Starley Sportive raised over £13,000 for the Ash Green-based hospice and the funds have now been handed over to support its operations.
The sell-out event had 500 cyclists taking to the roads to raise money for the charity, which has been providing specialist care to children with life-limiting conditions in Coventry since 2011.
The money raised is enough to provide one-on-one care for three children at the hospice for one week.
This year’s event, organised by Coventry Road Club and supported by property company Deeley Group, saw money raised for a wide range of charities, with Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice chosen as the official charity for the day.
Riders, who set off from the headquarters of Deeley Group on Coventry Business Park took on one of three courses – a 28.6 mile route, a 63.2 mile long-distance ride, or an epic 86.5 mile challenge.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at the Deeley Group, said: “A great deal of work went into the planning and organisation of the event by Coventry Road Club and we were happy to support them. On top of that there was all the exertions of the cyclist – so it is great to see that such a fantastic amount was raised.”
The Starley Sportive – named after modern bicycle pioneers James and John Kemp Starley – was one of the first mass participation events celebrating the city’s 12 months as European City of Sport.
The race was started by Lord Mayor Councillor John Blundell and BBC Coventry and Warwickshire’s Vic Minnett.
Marc Dwyer, from Zoë’s Place, said: “This was a great all-round effort and we are really grateful to the Coventry Road Club, the Deeley Group and all the cyclists who took part. It is a great community event and the funds raised will go to fund the vital work we undertake.”
Ian Court, Race Secretary at Coventry Road Club, said: “This is an event that can grow each year, our goal this year was to increase participation to 500 riders and it’s amazing that we hit this.
“We are sorry some people missed out due to the event selling out but we are already making plans to be able to cater for more next year.
“This was an event for all in every sense. We had riders of various experience taking to a bike to help a good cause and they have certainly done that.
“Zoë’s Place does some fabulous work and hopefully this will help that continue.”