850 mile MND Cycling Challenge

Cycling duo to tour 13 Premiership Rugby clubs in memory of rugby club chairman

Two friends are taking on an epic cycle challenge to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) in memory of their former rugby club Chairman Simon Adams, who sadly died from the disease a decade ago.

Starting at Newcastle Falcons on 28 September and finishing at their community rugby club in Plymouth on Saturday 9 October, Matt Price and Mark Ward will cover 850 miles in twelve days visiting all thirteen Premiership Rugby clubs along the way.

A popular head teacher, Simon Adams was 46 when he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2009 and told he would die within two years.
Within a week of the shocking news Simon made a pledge to raise £1 million to help fund vital research.

Simon died in 2011, his friends, family and the rugby community have continued fundraising on his behalf. Matt and Mark hope that their Premiership tour will help to raise at least £15,000 to add to the pot, which currently stands at just over £565,000.

Matt said: “This year we’ll be marking the 10-year anniversary of Simon’s passing, so it seems like the right time to do this fundraiser. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to visit Newcastle Falcons and all the other Premiership Rugby clubs along the way.”

“It’s Matt’s fault I got roped into this; I hate cycling,” explains Mark, “but I’m doing it for Simon! Many club members have done their part to try and raise money over the years, we’re just trying to do our bit.”
The couple plan to raise more funds by auctioning off signed rugby shirts donated by each club along the way.

To find out more about Matt and Mark’s challenge or to make a donation, visit https://www.tourdeprem.com/

Additional notes:

Simon Adams was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2009, he died in 2011. Within the first week of his diagnosis he had set a target to raise not just awareness of MND, but also £1 Million to help fund vital research, so that in the not too distance future the words “you have Motor Neurone Disease” will be followed by the phase “it is curable”.

Almost a quarter of a million people alive in the UK today will develop MND.

An open letter urging the government to fund motor neurone disease (MND) research was handed in at Downing Street on 21 September.
Signed by hundreds of people with MND, the letter requests that the government issue £50m into targeted research over five years.

While the government has said it is working on supporting research, the letter argues that the current investment of under £5 million each year was “insufficient for a disease of this nature”.

Among those delivering the letter in-person, were ex-rugby players Rob Burrow and Doddie Weir.

MND is a degenerative disease that impacts the function of the brain and nerves. While the condition currently has no known cure, the letter emphasised that said life-saving treatments were “closer than ever before”.
Most of the research funding for MND has been generated by charitable fundraising.


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