North End will be represented once again for Prostate Cancer UK's Football to Amsterdam challenge as Bev Taylor and Rachel Carroll get set to hop on the saddle for the cause.
The duo will take on the epic challenge for Prostate Cancer for the second year in a row, and they’ll be joined a third member, Belinda Cooper with the trio looking to raise even more money towards combatting a disease that kills one man every 45 minutes.
With a 145 mile cycle ahead of them, preparation and training is paramount for the three, and this year Bev has been helping to prepare herself in a less traditional way, by taking part in Preston North End’s Walking Football sessions every week!
Speaking during a session of Walking Football at the PNE Community Training Centre, on preparations, Bev said: “The Guild Wheel gets hammered and we go out there all of the time.
“We’re also paying for a personal trainer to try and get some core strength. It’s not easy - we are not your typical cyclists who are out in front but it’s good fun all of the same.
“When the weather gets better, we’re cycling up and down the countryside but apart from that, I’ve started playing here at the PNE Community Walking Football which helps me get a bit fitter.
“I’ve had lots of support and some sponsor money from everybody at Walking Football here which has been gratefully received. There’s one or two cyclists in the group who have suggested padded seats and padded pants!”
Calling themselves ‘The PNE Pedalers’, the team are self funding the ride again this year with every penny going towards Prostate Cancer UK, and Bev went into more detail about a disease which is particularly relevant towards the 50+ walking footballers who come to North End’s hosted sessions every week.
“The statistics are quite frightening really,” added Bev. “47,000 men a year die from Prostate Cancer. It’s particularly bad within black men with one in four so anything we can do to raise the profile, we’ll do it.
“It’s predominantly males who join us at Walking Football every Friday so I’m doing my best to bang the drum and raise awareness of the cause.
“We’re doing other events as well with quiz nights and things like that, and I’ve got some literature on Prostate Cancer which I’m going to be handing out to the guys so hopefully they’ll have a read of it and make sure they’re checked out.”
The team will fly the flag for North End and join around 400 other football fans who will also take part in the sponsored bike ride hosted by Prostate Cancer UK.
Cycling on the Yorkshire leg, the PNE Pedalers will set off from Barnsley Football Club on 1st June, and cycle through to Hull. They will then hop on an overnight ferry to Rotterdam and then cycle to the Ajax Stadium from there.
Once they arrive in Amsterdam, the party can start which gives them the chance to let their hair down and mark their achievement.
Having gained her first taste of the bike ride last year where former PNE manager Simon Grayson also took part in, Bev is raring to go - with just a little less than four months to go before this year’s event.
She continued: “I really enjoyed it last time and we raised just over £2,000 for a fantastic cause. It’s about keeping fit, meeting people, and after having such a good time last year, we signed up straightaway for 2018.
“I think there was about 400 odd people last year and it was brilliant. We got to know some people really well and we’ve kept in touch with them and made some brilliant friends. It’s a great cause and we raised a lot of money - so here we go again!”
Both routes are now sold out for 2018’s cycle, but you can still show your support for the PNE Pedalers by donating via their Just Giving Page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pnepedalers