11 November 2013 By Billy Hawkins
You may well have been following the progress of The Alitex Petolon – Radio Sussex has been issuing alerts on twitter for their practise sessions over the last month.
Tom Hall, owner of Alitex, is a keen cyclist and has taken part in the Tour de Force, the precursor to the Tour de France, since 2010. Tom enjoys it amongst other reasons because, as he says, “Where else in the world can an amateur follow in the exact footsteps of a professional sporting challenge?” The gruelling Tour de Force raises money for the charity “William Wates Memorial Trust Foundation”.*
We have a group of talented sportsmen and women here, many of whom achieve some pretty amazing things; Alan for example is getting his lady shave ready for a cross Saharan challenge in 2014, Dave T is part of a competitive amateur cycling team, Graham’s middle name is FITNESS, and so on. We also have a much larger group of people who want to get fit, do something special, raise money for a worthwhile cause and essentially push their limits by taking themselves out of their comfort zone.
It comes as no surprise to friends of Alitex that the combination of cycling and a challenge has captured the imagination of this hardy team. It was decided after the initial training runs that there needed to be an end goal – something to aim for and something to take the mind away from the daunting idea of hours in the saddle.
“I knew that (alone) I would achieve only a fraction of what I might within a team – it’s much easier with the encouragement and support of your work colleagues. I’m relatively new to cycling so I’m still learning about my bike (!) – never the less quite early on we thought it would be a good idea to support a cause.” Laura Bradley, Marketing Manager.
This side of Christmas the group will be learning about road conditions, equipment challenges and safety – building up not only confidence in the saddle but stamina. By January the group will be on 3-4 hour rides and by the end of March this will have reached 6 hours.
The combination of targeted achievement in the various stages of the Tour de Force and the opportunity to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust has tempted fifteen riders so far in the Alitex team to sign on the dotted line. Surrounding the cyclists will be a wider group of supporters who cannot commit the time or are unable to ride but want to help.
We are at the beginning of this exciting journey and each training session brings with it new challenges but there is now a date, an expectation and a goal and we will be encouraging the team all the way with fundraising events and ideas.
The initial fundraising target has been set at an optimistic £15,000 which is hoped to be met by next summer. Please try and support our team in this endeavour, by joining in with our events throughout 2014.
Now....Where's my bike gone? (Jessica)
“The William Wates Memorial Trust exists to celebrate the life of William Wates who was tragically killed when travelling in South America. The Trust is a grants giving registered charity set up in 1998 with a mission to help the most disadvantaged young people keep away from a life of crime and violence, and fulfil their potential. This is mainly achieved by supporting charities that engage young people through the mediums of sports, arts and education.” (From the website wwmt.org).
How you can help?
Donations can me made directly to the cause here - http://www.bmycharity.com/alitex
Alternatively, if you are about to embark on some Christmas shopping you can help raise funds without spending a penny. Click on the Easy Fundraising website and search for Alitex. http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk
A massive thank you from The Alitex Petolon.