In times of difficulty you realise who your true friends are, that was the case when Team WNT rider Hannah Walker said that she was putting her cycling skills to good use to raise funds for the Anthony Nolan Charity, to repay them, in part, for the support given to her brother Tom, who suffers from a very rare blood disorder. As soon as she mentioned it, her team mates stepped up to support her.
The response was a resounding yes, to join Hannah on her charity ride in the, even though the event came the day after the London GP where they were competing against some of the world’s best female cyclists and, the start time the following day was at 6:00am! Good to their word Hannah was joined at the start by Rose Osborn, Becca Carter, Brit Tate, Cha Joiner, Jo Tindley and Lydia Boylan, plus Sports Director Rick Lister, along with Brit’s boyfriend Rob, her mum and dad, Jill and John, as well as Claude Sun, WNT’s Worldwide Managing Director, who flew in from Germany especially for the challenge. By the end of the ride they had raised almost £4000, with more money being pledged all the time though Hannah and Team WNT’s Just Giving page.
The money raised will help Anthony Nolan develop the support that it gives to patients such as Tom, who has already had three bone marrow transplants, including one from Hannah, to try and resolve the Aplastic Anaemia that he suffers from. This disorder means his bone marrow has stopped working and no longer produces blood cells or platelets, destroying his immune system. While the search for a cure goes on, Hannah wanted to show her, and her family’s, gratitude to Anthony Nolan, which set up the first bone Marrow transplant registry in 1974 in memory of three year old Anthony Nolan. Riding in the 2015 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, which takes in much of London before heading out to Surrey ahead of a finish on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace seemed the obvious way to do this for the four-times National Champion cyclist. The event is a massive opportunity for fund raising, with almost 30,000 riders taking part, with around 100,000 cyclists in total attending the weekend’s events.
“’I feel very privileged to have such caring, helpful and motivated team mates, who were really keen in the idea of supporting me at 2015 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, as they knew the situation with my brother, Tom. I think it showed what a strong unit we are as a team, and how we support each other on and off the bike, team work isn’t just in races. It was heart-warming that the World MD of WNT, Claude Sun, travelled to London to watch us in the Ride London GP on Saturday evening, then Claude rode the 100mile sportive with us on Sunday, that was just fantastic. He loved it! I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far to our ‘Just Giving Page’ it’s been overwhelming watching the donations rise, the support from friends, family, fellow racers, social media followers and strangers has been incredible. Thank you for helping WNT smash its target!” says Hannah.
Anyone wishing to add to that total can pledge their support at https://www.justgiving.com/HannahWalkerandTEAMWNT/
Team work and cycling have become a part of WNT culture, with several charity rides raising significant sums for good causes. Most recently the Team WNT Elite Ladies team flew to Germany to join up with WNT employees from across Europe to take part in the 35th Annual Sparkassen Allgäu Rundfahrt (Bike Tour). The 192 strong WNT team cycled a combined 12,050 kilometres, raising the same figure in Euros for the relief organisation Doctors Without Borders. This follows a gruelling Coast to Coast ride undertaken by WNT (UK) Managing Director Tony Pennington and WNT World Managing Director, Claude Sun. “These events demonstrate the tremendous fighting spirit, teamwork and sportsmanship that play a very important role at WNT. When there is a personal involvement, as with supporting Hannah and her brother, that spirit is even greater,” says Claude Sun