There will be an unexpected local angle to the Big Bike Ride 2 for Somerset’s director of cricket Matt Maynard when it stops off in Taunton in October.
The event aims to raise a six figure sum for the PCA Benevolent Fund and Tom Maynard Trust – the charity set up in memory of Matt’s late son – and will cover 400 miles in five days from Truro in Cornwall to the Kia Oval.
The first Big Bike Ride in 2013 raised more £200,000 for the two charities but Maynard had not started work with Somerset when planning for this year’s event began.
He took charge at Taunton late last year and will be joined on Big Bike Ride 2 by Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick and county chief executive Guy Lavender, both of whom took part two years ago, along with Simon Lee, the head groundsman at Taunton. A fund-raising dinner will also be held at the County Ground in Taunton on October 10 after the riders have completed the second leg of their journey from Instow in north Devon.
“It was a really incredible event two years ago and quite emotional at times,” Maynard said. “Thanks to the PCA and Ali Prosser and Jason Ratcliffe for organising the event again.
“But coming through the country here before we go on to Hampshire, Sussex and then on to Surrey we will cover some area that we haven’t covered before so hopefully we will get some good support.
“It’s an amazing motivator. You see a group a people who don’t know that much about each other and they spend a day in the saddle and you see relationships forming and people getting on. That is what it is all about.
“It’s mentally and physically tough but the camaraderie that forms is incredible. You know it’s going to be hard work but people get on with it. It’s a great adventure and it’s raising money for two great causes.”
Maynard, Trescothick and Lavender will be among 65 riders who will complete all five legs of Big Bike Ride 2 along with 2005 Ashes winners Steve Harmison, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff. Places for individual legs of Big Bike Ride 2 are still available.
“Having been on the first Big Bike Ride it was a great experience and it also raised an enormous amount of money for the PCA Benevolent Fund and the Tom Maynard Trust which are two really important organisations and charities. I was keen to support Matt and the fund-raising efforts of the PCA,” Lavender said.
The PCA Benevolent Fund is part of the Association’s commitment to helping current and former players and their dependants in times of hardship and upheaval to readjust to the world beyond the game.
The Fund also supports players and their dependants who might be in need of a helping hand with medical advice, a much-needed operation or those who require specialist advice, care or assistance.
The Tom Maynard Trust was set up in the summer of 2012 following Tom’s tragic death.
Its initial objectives were to try to provide low level financial support for young cricketers making their way in the game.
This has now been expanded to include:
- grants for aspiring young sports people looking for support with different aspects of their career development
- education and awareness programmes
- The Tom Maynard Academy at the Desert Springs complex in Southern Spain where up to 14 emerging county cricketers benefit each year from specialist technical and conditioning work
- A scholarship at Tom’s old school, Millfield.
This year, Somerset wicket-keeper Alex Barrow was named as one of the 12 young cricketers on the 2015 Tom Maynard Academy and spent 10 days of intensive specialist training at the Desert Springs complex in February.
How to support and donate to Big Bike Ride 2
To support and donate to Big Bike Ride 2 go to: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/bbr2pcabftmt/193332
The ride for all five days is now full, although it is possible to join as day riders on each leg. For more information or to put your name down on the reserve list, or to register for any leg, contact Aprosser@thepca.co.uk or call 0808 1684 655.
For more information go to: http://www.thepca.co.uk/big-bike-ride-2.html
For more information about the PCA Benevolent Fund go to www.thepca.co.uk/index.php?q=benevolent_fund.html