Sheffield Hallam University colleagues get on their bikes for Yorkshire cancer charity

Two Sheffield Hallam colleagues are set to cycle 450 miles in just three days to support the Yorkshire Cancer Research ‘Tour de Walkshire’ campaign.

By diana stannard
Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 10:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 10:33 am

Keen cyclists Professor Robert Copeland and Ian Brookes, who both work at the University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), are aiming to complete the ‘Beat the Border’ challenge over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.

Each day will start and end at the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre in Sheffield with the riders travelling to Whitby and back on the first day, covering a total of 200 miles and spending approximately 15 hours in the saddle.

Day two will see the pair ride to Ripon and back to AWRC, calling in at the Yorkshire Cancer Research offices in Harrogate on the 150-mile route.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The final day’s route will be a hilly 100-miles to Halifax and back to AWRC, via Holmfirth.

The challenge aims to raise money and profile for Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) and the work the charity does.

The Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and YCR have recently announced a new collaborative physical activity programme to support people with cancer to prepare for and respond to treatment. The programme is funded by YCR and is being delivered by the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre.

Professor Robert Copeland is Director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre and helped set up the collaborative project with YCR.

He said: “Earlier this year the AWRC partnered with Yorkshire Cancer Research to design a service that would help people with a cancer diagnosis prepare for and recover from treatment. Working with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, we are extremely excited by this opportunity but also very grateful to Yorkshire Cancer Research to have the financial support to make this happen. So when the Tour de Walkshire was announced, it was a perfect opportunity for us to try and support the charity to fund raise and to continue to support programmes that change people’s lives across the region.

“No matter how sore our backsides, or fatigued our legs, we can choose to stop and it will stop. People with a cancer diagnosis don’t have that luxury and so we will give it all we can to show our support by attempting to complete this challenge.”

Ian added: “I am the type of person who jumps at the chance of new experiences, adventures, and challenges so it was only a matter of seconds before I said yes.

“Once we began to plan it out and think about the distances and logistics involved, we soon realised how crazy and difficult it will be. No matter how tired and fatigued I become I will try and remember that I am still enjoying my hobby, and I chose to be there.

“People diagnosed with cancer don’t make that choice, don’t have the option of quitting and their fight lasts longer than a weekend. I am confident we can make it to the end, and to be able to help raise money and awareness for much needed research to help people diagnosed with cancer in the future will be a real honour.”

Rob and Ian will be supported by a number of people during their challenge including Cycling Sheffield, Mamnick, Sheffrec Cycling Club, Bolsover and District Cycling Club and Veloviewer.

To donate to Ian and Rob visit their fundraising page.