Records smashed at Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s Easter Egg Run
It was a record-breaking day all-round as hundreds of bikers helped make Easter a little bit more enjoyable for patients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
A record 663 riders took part in the annual Theo’s Easter Egg Run on the hottest day of the year so far on Sunday as temperatures soared to around 25C.
Former superbike world champion James Toseland led riders into Weston Park, before delivering chocolate eggs to children at the nearby hospital.
The event, which marked its 20th year in great style, took the total amount of cash raised over the years to more than £70,000, with bikers donating a minimum of £2 to take part.
James, who was crowned World Superbike Champion in 2004 and 2007, said: “It’s my 14th year and it’s the 20th year the event has been held so what a fantasic way to mark the anniversary.
“It was 5C last year and it snowed the day after but this year the sun defineitley shone down on us. I think it’s the biggest event we have ever had.”
Doncaster-born James, who grew up in Kiveton Park, Rotherham, posed for photographs and signed clothing and helmets in Weston Park before delivering the eggs around the wards.
Money raised will go towards the hospital's new emegerncy department appeal which aims to raise £4.5 million.
James said: “It's just such a great cause. Every time I come down I always go and see where the money has gone and it's an amazing place.
“Bikers are just a community anyway. If you’ve got a bike, you could just start talking to anybody else with a bike - it’s such an nice community.
”I have got a bit of attention from what I used to do and I got a lot of support so if I can use that to help then I will. It’s just such a great event.”
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Among the riders, was Rex Michael, a spinal surgeon at the hospital.
He said: “It’s amazing. I've been riding for years so it's something I have been meaning to do for years but something has always come up.
“I follow MotoGP so it's been lovely to finally meet James.We have such got a new EOS imaging machine and I think the charity was involved with fundraising for that and it's changed the way we work.”
There were also a number of Easter bunnies, cartoon characters and bears among the riders as they poured into Weston Park.
Steve Williamson had made the tip from Derby dressed as a bunny.
He said: “I did it last year and my girlfriend works as a speech therapist in Sheffield so I just thought it's a nice thing to do and if it brings a smile to the kids’ faces then I don’t mind looking like a plonker for the day.”
After the ride, James went into the hospital to deliver eggs and meet some of the patients, including seven-month-old Sophie Henderson who has been there since being re-admitted in January.
Mum Jenny gave birth to her and twin Jessica after just 28 weeks. Jessica died after just 15 days and Sophie has necrotising enterocolitis and has just 23cm of her small intestine left after surgery.
Dad Rob, aged 32, said: “I know it’s a cliché but the nurses are amazing – they genuinely are. We have never come across a member of staff who we have not been too sure about.
“The hospital is amazing. You would never have cause to come unless it was somwething like what we're going throug but they really are amazing.”