Young farmers from across the region will be saddling up in a 596-mile bikeathon to raise money to support research into mitochondrial disease.
Members from four clubs will be peddling the distance from Kenilworth to its twin town Eppstein in Germany on static bikes to fundraise for The Lily Foundation at this year’s Kenilworth Show.
Warwickshire Young Farmers are supporting the charity after the Warwickshire County President, Bert Mitchell and his partner Jenny Yerbury’s godchild, Grace, passed away suddenly from mitochondrial disease in April 2018, at the age of just three.
The four clubs fundraising for ‘Team Grace’ include Long Itchington, Brandon and Wolston, Leamington Hastings and Wormleighton – which have all chosen The Lily Foundation as their chosen charity of the year.
Past bikeathons hosted by Long Itchington YFC have raised between £500 and £1000 – but organisers are hoping the crowd in excess of 12,000 people expected at the Kenilworth Show on Saturday, June 8 will see them surpass previous levels.
Megan Bailey, vice chairman for Long Itchington YFC, said: “It is very rare that four clubs will come together like this in one fundraiser but we all want to raise as much as we possibly can to support Team Grace. Each club will have one bike each and we’ll all be working toward the 596-mile goal, with around nine hours to complete it in.
“There will hopefully be 36 riders in total across the day and every cyclist will be giving it their all to raise funds to support research into mitochondrial disease. We have previously held bikeathons at The Long Itchington Beer Festival but we hope that by being at the Kenilworth Show we will attract more donations than ever before.”
Around 40 members from local Young Farmers’ clubs will also be helping to set up the site in the days leading up to the show. The Young Farmers will have their own area again at this year’s show, which will include the regional fence building competition and health and safety competition.
The four clubs have already organised a series of fundraisers for The Lily Foundation this year and will continue to do so after the show, including a clay shoot, quiz night, anniversary ball and many more.
To find out more about Team Grace, supporting The Lily Foundation, visit www.facebook.com/SupportingTeamGrace
Advance tickets for the Kenilworth Show cost £12.50 and are available from www.kenilworthshow.co.uk. Tickets can also be purchased from Kenilworth Library and Farmers Fayre at Stoneleigh Park.
Gates open at 9am and a free shuttle bus will run from Kenilworth Clock Tower to the show throughout the day.
PICTURE CAPTION: Left to right - Will Walker (Long Itchington YFC), Chris Barnes (Long Itchington YFC), Heather McCurdie (Kenilworth Show committee member) and Megan Bailey (Long Itchington YFC).