How we’ve been racing towards our fundraising goals

Over the past few years, our team at Aspire have been helping to support Break the Cycle, a locally based initiative that seeks to raise vital funds for local charities and the Bristol Bears Foundation through mass sponsored cycling events.

Last month, you will have read about our work with the Bristol Bears Foundation’s Bright Sparks programme and how we’ve been helping underprivileged youths access sports-based education and intervention opportunities.

The funds raised by Break the Cycle help keep important programmes like these going and ensures the foundation is able to support our local community.

Last month, a few brave cyclists from Aspire decided to put themselves through the rigours of training and push the pedal to the max in an effort to race towards further fundraising goals.

Read on to discover how they got on, how previous events have succeeded, and how you can find out more about the Break the Cycle initiative.

The Bristol Sports Foundation is using sports to fund a better future

The Bristol Sports Foundation hosts the annual Break the Cycle cycling event with funds gained from entry fees and sponsored cycling shirt sales going directly towards funding the Bristol Bear Community Foundation and other local charities.

The main event involves 40-, 65- and 100-mile races across the Bristol area, this year taking place on Sunday 17 July. Hundreds of riders take part in the event pushing their bodies to their physical limits in the name of charity.

The foundation has not only provided regular programmes to help give underprivileged youth the right skills to reach their future life goals, but it also does regular local charity work such as helping with food drives for poverty-stricken homes during the pandemic and teaming up to support the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Aspire has a long history of working alongside Break the Cycle

Over the past decade we have worked closely with the Bristol Sports Foundation to sponsor Break the Cycle events and take part in key events as much as possible.

This hasn’t been without its own set of short-term challenges such as having to rejig our approach during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic when large scale social events were restricted.

We didn’t let that stop us though and we took part in small group events in 2020 and 2021, both with appropriate social distancing steps in place, of course!

In 2021 we also raised funds through a team challenge involving staff members counting their steps taken and miles cycled over a month. We contributed £1 for every 10,000 steps or for each mile cycled by our staff.

The team smashed the target, walking 3,757,688 steps and cycling a total of 1,022 miles.

Jack and Izzy took the lead for Aspire during a hot summer ride

On Friday 15 July, Team Aspire, completed a mini Break the Cycle ride around Bristol covering Ashley Court and Portishead over a 25-mile route. Nine members of our team took part, including Izzy Strozewska and Jack Powell, on a particularly hot summer day.

Luckily there were plenty of cakes, drinks, and pork pies to refuel the riders along the way.

Izzy said of the challenge: “It was a brilliant ride, and we were all in high spirits, however it wouldn’t have been an organised event without some surprises.

“Jack’s pedal decided to come off a couple of miles into the ride and I came off my bike two miles before the finish line and scuffed my knee!”.

Jack had a light-hearted account of his experience saying: “Two miles in, my pedal snapped, but thankfully Ian offered me a spare bike, however we first had to trek up Ashton Gate hill.

“Ken nicely offered to accompany me, and definitely not to get out of riding up the hill! By the time we arrived at Ian’s house to collect the spare bike, everyone was already waiting and dipping into the coffee and cakes”.

The team then pushed onto the next leg of their journey, not forgetting to stop by a few local pubs for refreshing pints along the way.

Overall, it was a successful day with valuable funds raised for the foundation. We highly recommend getting involved with the Break the Cycle initiative and we will continue supporting future events by racing towards further fundraising goals.

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