Thousands raised for charity at Starley Sportive

Approximately 290 people took part in the 2022 Starley Sportive, with all funds raised going to Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice, The Myton Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity.

More than 30 volunteers, 18 of which were City Hosts, dedicated their time to making the event a success, lending a hand to tasks such as organising the car park, providing food and drink for participants and answering any queries on the route.

At the conclusion of the event, two large food crates were taken to the Coventry Food Bank depot as part of pre-event foodbank drive, where all scheduled riders were encouraged to donate any food items they could spare to help people in need across Coventry and Warwickshire.

The sportive, organised by Coventry Road Club with support from Deeley Group and Coventry City Council, gave cyclists the chance to take on sections of the Starley Network, a newly created 500-mile regional cycling network.

Route options were categorised “short”, “long” and “epic”, with cyclists getting underway at Deeley Group’s George House head office on Herald Avenue, Coventry.

The 29-mile short route involved a really enjoyable ride into the Warwickshire countryside towards the village of Hatton and back again, encountering some small inclines along the way.

63 miles of undulating roads awaited the long route participants, who continued on past Hatton to Alcester and then began the return, re-joining the short route for the ride back to Coventry.

And the 87-mile epic route took those taking on the toughest challenge of all to Dover’s Hill in the Cotswolds – which has been used as the location for the British National Hill Climb Championships six times and possesses an average gradient of 9% on the 1.1 mile climb.

Ian Court, general secretary of Coventry Road Club, said: “We set out to make the 2022 edition as inclusive and enjoyable as possible for our riders, support members of our local community facing tough times with a foodbank drive and provide much needed financial support for our three charities who do so much for people in the region.

“It’s really pleasing that we’ve managed to meet all of our objectives for this year, and to receive such great feedback from people about the route and how they were looked after by our amazing volunteers is really nice to hear.

“Each and every year, the generosity and eagerness of the people of Coventry and Warwickshire, and beyond, who get behind the Starley Sportive, is amazing. But in this year in particular, with the charity sector facing challenges due to the energy crisis and cost of living crisis, we’re absolutely bowled over.

“As the wait for next year’s Starley Sportive begins, we hope that more people enjoy get out on their bikes while temperatures are still warm and the sun lasts into the evening – and if some money can be raised for charity in the process, that’s even better.”

Edward Hudson, business development manager at the Deeley Group, said: “It was great to see so many smiles on the day, and witness all of the participants throwing themselves into the challenge.

“As a co-organiser of the event, we’d like to thank everyone who took part, donated or gifted food items, and look forward to welcoming everyone to Deeley HQ for starters orders next year.”

For more information about the Starley Sportive, visit www.starleysportive.co.uk.

Left to right: Edward Hudson, Jo O’Sullivan (University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity) Vic Minett (BBC CWR) and Ian Court