Intrepid cyclists set to take on epic Peterborough to Paris cycle ride in support of Free Kicks Foundation

The annual Free Kicks Foundation charity cycle ride returns this year with riders taking on the ‘Posh 2 Paris’ challenge.

By Barry Warne
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 11:16 am
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 1:01 pm
Riders from a previous Free Kicks Foundation charity ride to Amsterdam.
Riders from a previous Free Kicks Foundation charity ride to Amsterdam.

17 cyclists will be dressed in their best padded shorts and lycra this Wednesday (June 1), as they gather for their grand depart from the Weston Homes Stadium car park to embark on the ‘Posh 2 Paris’ sponsored cycle ride; which has already raised close to £8000.

The resilient group of riders will be raising funds for the Free Kicks Foundation, and will be eager to hit the road to begin their four day adventure after a two year Covid induced hiatus for the annual charity ride.

The Free Kicks Foundation is a Peterborough based nationwide charity whose aim is to provide football-related activities for ill, bereaved and disadvantaged children, giving them a day to remember with their favourite football club.

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Freddy at the recent FA Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea.

The last ride, which took place in 2019, was a huge success with cyclists crossing the Netherlands and passing through parts of Germany and France before doubling back to reach Brussels four days after setting out from Peterborough.

This year the route will take the fundraisers to Portsmouth over the first two days. They will then take the night ferry to Caen, spending two days in Normandy before reaching Paris on 4 June then dismounting for 5he final time at the Eiffel Tower.

Founder of the charity Steve Thorpe said: “It’s been a strange couple of years with minimal fundraising opportunities. For much of this period it’s not been possible to attend matches and provide mascots.

“We have a marvellous team of people who want to help us raise money and hopefully next season will be more normal and we can get that amazing feeling of seeing kids faces light up when they meet players and run out on to the pitch.”

Freddy Osborn, is just one of the children that has benefitted from the work of Free Kicks Foundation. He recently attended the FA Cup Final using tickets purchased by the charity.

Freddy is currently receiving treatment for leukemia at Addenbrookes, and after the big match l his mum Sonya told the charity “Freddy had a fantastic time at the cup final, and couldn;t believe it when I told him the day before that he would be going to watch it. Freddy was really excited when he woke up on cup final day, and he was buzzing when he arrived

home on Saturday evening. It was really lovely to see, and this was the first time in a long while I;ve seen him so happy and back to his own self.”

Since the charity launched in 2007, they have made it possible for over 1,000 young people to attend matches and meet their favourite teams. The majority of recipients experience the day as a Team Mascot. This generally involves a tour of the ground, a new football kit, visiting the players in the dressing rooms, a coaching session on the pitch, and of course,

leading the team out ahead of kick-off.

Alternatively, the charity often provide hospitality packages or other experiences should the mascot opportunity not be suitable. The days out are called ‘Kicks’ and they are provided free of charge to the families.

If you wish to sponsor the cyclists or donate to the charity, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/posh2paris2022.