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North End Duo Set For Charity Cycle

1 June 2016

Preston North End will be represented once again on the Football to Amsterdam bike ride in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.

Last year manager Simon Grayson took on the challenge, raising over £50,000 for the charity through the bike ride and a number of other events that year, and this year members of his coaching team are getting involved for 2016.

Fitness coach Tom Little and sports science assistant Luke Hemmings will be getting on the saddle this weekend to help raise even more money for such a worthy cause.

Prostate Cancer UK, the official charity partner of The Football League, has raised more than £500,000 from the three rides so far.

Over two days, the pair will cycle 145 miles from Yorkshire to Amsterdam starting on the 3rd June from Barnsley, they will cycle 70 miles to Hull before taking an overnight ferry to The Netherlands. The journey will then continue on Saturday 4th June, as they cycle 74 miles from Rotterdam to Ajax Stadium in Amsterdam.

The lads have pledged their support to Men United and below are their fundraising pages for you to show your support.

You can support Tom at www.justgiving.com/thomas-little-challanges, or help Luke’s fundraising at www.justgiving.com/Luke-Hemmings2.

North End manager Simon Grayson sent his best wishes to the lads ahead of their cycle, saying: "Good luck to Tom and Luke, I hope they enjoy the challenge, it's going to be tough, I know that first hand, but I'm sure the pair of them will manage it comfortably! They are doing this for a fantastic cause and anyone who wants to show their support and donate to Prostate Cancer UK can do through their JustGiving pages."


Speaking to PNE.Com just days before they depart, Luke was excited about the challenge.

"I'm feeling good,I've been out again yesterday and I will be out again today then I will have a rest day on Thursday ahead of the ride on Friday.

"It will be an early start on Friday to set off to the starting point so a rest the day before will set me up nicely, and hopefully the weather will be good like it has been the last few days.

"It's more enjoyable when it's hotter, as long as there's a bit of wind there too!"

"I've changed my training a bit now the ride is closer, I've gone a lot less hilly now and staying more on flat ground so it's not taking it's toll on my legs as much ahead of the ride."

It's not the first time Luke has pushed himself to help other, taking part in charity events regularly to help raise money for worthy causes.

"Tom said he was doing it and asked if I wanted to get involved and obviously with it being for a good cause I thought it was a good chance to raise some money.

"I like to try and do at least one charity event a year really, so this is the one for this year.

"I've done half marathons before, my grandma has a charity so I like to do a couple of half marathons for that, and it's great to be able to help worthy causes like this one.

"There's so many people doing the bike ride from various clubs around the country this time, that I think the grand total at the moment is about £300,000 which is amazing.

It will be the third consecutive year that North End are represented on the event, with head groundsman Pete Ashworth taking on the challenge in 2014, followed by the manager last time out.

"The manager did it last year, he did say he liked it so hopefully I will enjoy it as much as he did. I haven't really spoken to him about it too much, but I've heard stories. He said the first day was hardest so take it a bit easier and then kick on more on the second day.

"There's about 13 of us representing PNE, which includes fans who have registered, and there's over 130 people doing it in total so it will be good to socialise with new people and we all have the same goal for the same cause.

"We are all pushing together, everyone helps each other out which is great and I can't wait to get going now."

As well as the bike ride, Tom will be taking on two other challenges either side of the trip to Amsterdam. First up will be biking the Pennine Bridleway, before taking on the Tough Guy challenge in July!

It is a big test for the fitness coach taking on three tough challenges within three months, so you can show your support for all three via his Just Giving page above. All money raised from the three events will go to Prostate Cancer UK.

Speaking of the reason behind taking on these events, Tom said: “I wanted to do a challenge to raise money in memory of my dad. He suffered from Prostate Cancer, as do thousands of men in the UK.

“I was undecided between a few challenges and so I’m going for a triple whammy!

“My dad loved the Pennine Way so this is definitely appropriate, then the cycle from Barnsley to Amsterdam and before my hip arthritis finally says no, I will have a final bash at Toughguy. That’s probably the most brutal obstacle race around!

“Thank you in advance for your support in helping a great cause and remembering a great man.”

From the initial event in 2013 with a small group of 35 riders, to a total fundraising tally which will smash through the £1m mark this year thanks to a biggest ever peloton; the football-themed cycling challenge has proved a phenomenal success throughout its four years.
 
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “We’re delighted that a record number of riders have decided to join the fight against prostate cancer and ride to raise vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK.
 
“Ignoring prostate cancer will not beat it, and the money raised by our fantastic riders will fund ground-breaking research to help fight the disease. That will help us provide dedicated support and information to men and their families affected by this disease.
 
“Our amazing cast of riders from across the UK show a brilliant demonstration of what we call Men United: people joining one team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.
 
“One man every hour dies from prostate cancer; it’s the most common cancer in men, but we want to make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men do not fear. We thank all of the intrepid riders for joining the fight and wish them every success in the event.”
 
Many people are unaware that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s a huge issue that cannot be ignored. In 2016 one man an hour will die from prostate cancer in the UK. That’s 10,900 men this year. Based on current trends, if we ignore prostate cancer and do nothing, this number will rise to over 14,500 men a year by 2026.
 
People are urged to search Men United and join the fight, and use #F2A to share stories and updates online.
 
Places for the 2016 Football to Amsterdam are sold out but for information about taking part in the 2017 ride go to prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam

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