Direct benefit to Surrey towns & villages from popular sportive

Here's one in the eye for Surrey NIMBYs opposed to closed-road cycling events such as the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive. Last year's RideLondon festival raised over £600,000 for community groups in the county.

Last December, 10 Surrey groups were given more than £380,000 by the London Marathon Charitable Trust, which runs the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey events. Earlier this year another 30 groups pocketed over £242,000.

Benficiaries have included local sports organisations and cash-strapped parish councils.

Kingston has benefitted from a grant of £130,000 to fund the development of a closed-road cycling track, which will provide a safe place for local children and adults to ride their bikes.

Almost £9,500 was awarded to Hindhead Playing Fields Association, which hosts local football and cricket teams, for football coaching and new car park lights.

Chairman Chris Grimes said: “This award has really helped us to develop our clubs. Without it, there would be fewer people playing football and fewer youngsters involved in sport.”

A new playground has been built in Dormansland with the help of a £10,000 grant.

Parish council clerk Lynn Blake said: “The community is so grateful to the organisers for the funding for this new playground, and the kids love it.”

Windlesham Parish Council received £10,000 towards improving facilities at Lightwater Recreation Ground and options include an outdoor gym, play equipment for older children and a barbecue area.

Parish clerk Karen Holland said: “It will make a big difference. There’s nothing really in terms of free facilities in the village that people can use.”

Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “After the success of last year’s events, it’s great that so many lasting improvements are being made, underlining Prudential RideLondon’s legacy for Surrey communities and the economic boost the events bring.”

This year's weekend of riding kicks off on Saturday with the RideLondon FreeCycle mon Saturday August 9. For more details see the Prudential RideLondon website.

Got a project that deserves funding? Have a read of the grants page.


Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.


dp24 [209 posts] 3 years ago

Yeah, but those bloody cyclists taking over our roads, and they don't even pay road tax, etc etc.

Suffolk Cycling [65 posts] 3 years ago

I've often thought that charity sportives should automatically give a small portion of the cyclists' charity fees to one of the communities on its route.

So, using a local example, if a sportive raising money for cancer used Sutton village hall (near Woodbridge) as a feed/drink station, then a percentage of the entry/charity fees should be donated to some community project in Sutton (OAP lunch club, youth sport equipment etc).

A little pre and subsequent publicity in the local press would have three benefits:

1 Raise awareness of the actual ride to increase entries
2 Make some people think better of cyclists and mass-participation events
3 Make the beneficiary community really feel part of the sportive day.

So say you opted for a sportive option that meant £20 for the main charity, you did so on the understanding £2 of that (or whatever) went to the local charity as well.

I'd love to hear what AMR, Wiggle, CycleSwarm or some of the other sportive organisers think of this.  16

paddyirish [56 posts] 3 years ago

Good on them.

@Suffolk Cycling

IMG currently give local charities 1000% of the entry fee contribution they give to their headline charity in Etape Caledonia.  39