Coventry charity cycle raises thousands despite being cancelled

The Starley Sportive in Coventry was still able to raise £9,415 for charity even though the event it was unable to go ahead due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Pictured: Riders at last year’s Starley Sportive event.

A cycle event has been able to raise £9,415 for charity even though it was unable to go ahead this month.

More than 700 riders were set to head out onto the roads of Coventry and Warwickshire for the Starley Sportive on Sunday, 26 April – after the event was originally postponed due to Storm Dennis in February.

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced organisers Coventry Road Club, Coventry-based construction and development firm the Deeley Group and Coventry City Council to cancel the rescheduled date, although refunds were offered many generous riders have chosen to still donate their entry fees to charity.

The funds raised will be donated to primarily to support Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice – but some money will also be donated to Leamington-based Young People First.

Businesses who had already committed to supporting the event have also fulfilled their donations, with Eagledale, Wallsmart, Murray & Co, RM Contractors and TBL Fire Protection all contributing to the fundraising total.

A virtual ride took place via RGT cycling on the day the event was planned for, with all funds raised donated to support Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice through the coronavirus pandemic.

Edward Hudson, business development manager at the Deeley Group, voiced his disappointment that the event had to be cancelled this year.

“We would also like to thank all of our partners who had pledged to support the event in 2020”, he said.

“The Starley Sportive is always a not-for-profit event and we ensure that as much of the funds raised as possible reaches our charities.

“We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at our 2021 event which will, of course, be taking place in Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture.”

This year the Starley Sportive teamed up with Coventry-based Etch & Pin ahead of the ride to create special pin badges to commemorate the event. They are awarding 100 of these badges in a free prize draw to riders who chose to donate their entry fees.

Ian Court, of Coventry Road Club, added: “Charities have been forced to cancel many of their fundraising events in recent months.

“So, we would like thank everyone who has donated their entry fees to support these charities in very testing times.”