Le Rugby Ride – cycling to Marseille for charity

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Later this month, Ben Martyn and Dan Turnock from Crowborough Rugby Club are carrying the match ball from Twickenham Stadium to the venue of this year’s European Rugby Cup Final in Marseille.

Crowborough RFC Ben Martyn Dan Turnock
Ben Martyn and Dan Turnock at the Rugby Club at Steel Cross.

The pair intend to complete the 850 mile journey by cycle in seven days whilst raising money for both Wooden Spoon – the children’s charity of rugby and Crowborough Rugby Football Club (CRFC).

Ben has lived in Crowborough all his life and joined CRFC at the age of seven, he went on to be the First Team Captain. Dan is the Under 8 & Under 10 Coach. And both have played for Sussex Vets in the annual Wooden Spoon Vets Tournament.

We wanted to take on a big challenge for 2022. We talked about Lands End to John O’Groats but it seemed odd to start so far from home.

Having joined the Wooden Spoons Vets tournament in October it was fresh in my mind what a great cause this was, we had the idea to combine our love of Cycling with Rugby. The European Rugby Champions Cup was coming up in Marseille and that seemed like, a fair distance to really challenge ourselves.

As the Cup Final last year was at Twickenham, I wondered if we could arrange to transport the match ball from last years venue, as they do with the Olympic torch.

Ben Martyn

They are aiming to raise £10,000. Supporting CRFC is very important to them and with Covid the Club has struggled financially.

Ben Martyn and Dan Turnock

Wooden Spoon funds projects across the UK and Ireland to support children and young people with disabilities or facing disadvantage. Research shows that 1 in 10 children in the UK and Ireland have a disability and there are 3.5 million children in the UK living in poverty.

We believe every kid in the area should have the opportunity to try out the sport, it’s such an inclusive sport, there is a place on the pitch for everyone. 

My boys joined Crowborough’s Minis at the age of 6 and are now 10 and 8 and enjoy playing and much as I enjoy coaching.  It’s such a great family atmosphere we had to help any way we could.

Dan Turnock

The European Rugby Champions Cup, is its rugby’s version of UEFA Champions league. It is the top-tier competition for clubs whose countries’ national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship. Clubs qualify for the Champions Cup via their final positions in their national leagues.

Alex Hunn, Chairman of CRFC said:

On behalf of the Rugby Club, I would like say a massive ’thank you’ to these two, who are raising money for both the Wooden Spoon Rugby Charity and Crowborough Rugby Club.

Funds raised will be used to purchase rugby kit and equipment and also support the development of Mini and Junior rugby at the Club for next season.

We wish Danny and Ben all the best.

Chairman of Crowborough RFC

If you would like to support Ben and Danny you can make a donation on their Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/le-rugby-ride.

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