Bradford insurance broker aims to ‘break the cycle’ with a weekend of pedalling pain

Packetts celebrate 96th anniversary with a second charity bike ride

  • Funds raised going to Bradford charity ‘One in a Million’s’ ‘Break the Cycle’ campaign
  • Two-stage event covering nearly 200 miles from Bradford to Masham and back
  • Special evening celebration at Theakston’s world famous brewery

The Tour de Yorkshire’s April visit isn’t the only major cycling event starting in the city this spring. Come the weekend of May 13/14th, a bunch of keen amateur riders will be under starter’s orders for the ‘Packetts’ Tour de Dales Charity Bike Ride’.

Starting from the Saltaire head office of Bradford-based insurance brokers, Packetts, riders will cycle to Masham for an overnight stop, riding back to Bradford the following day, completing a round trip of nearly 200 miles. Pressing the start button in Saltaire will be Bradford City FC legend, John Hendry.

Leading the way on the road will be Marshall Sugden, Packetts’ Managing Director. “Last year’s inaugural event attracted 26 riders and raised an incredible £17540 – that’s £730 a rider,” says Marshall. “As soon as we’d got our breath back we all agreed that we’d had such a great time we’d do it again in 2017.”

Word has clearly got out, as the Packett peloton has swelled to 35 riders for this year’s event. Once again they’re riding for Bradford’s ‘One in a Million’ charity. The event marks Packetts’ 96th birthday and is all part of the build-up to their centenary in 2020.

“As proud Bradfordians, it’s important that we do our bit to support local youngsters, some of whom face a tough start in life,” says Marshall. “According to national statistics the city has two areas which fall into the top thirty of the UK’s most deprived areas. What’s more, there are 39,000 people living in Bradford in severe poverty. Through our efforts we’re doing our bit to ‘break the cycle’ of deprivation that afflicts so many young people in the city. Nearly 2,000 of them used the facilities offered by ‘One in a million’ last year alone. So every mile we ride is raising money for a great local charity.”

Kersten England, Chief Executive of the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, said: “I am a keen supporter of ‘One in a Million’ and admire the fantastic work it does around the city. The Packett ride is important in other ways too. With around 26 local businesses represented on the ride, it’s also about the Bradford business community working together to support a great local cause. The Tour de Yorkshire has already promoted cycling in the city and this is another ideal opportunity to raise cycling’s profile locally.”

Wayne Jacobs, co-founder of ‘One in a Million’ and former Bradford City FC captain added: “We’re delighted that Packetts are back in the saddle raising funds for us. Our mission is, through sport, art and education, to help local kids recognise their individuality and release their true potential – proving that they are ‘one in a million’. I rode the event last year and know how tough it is; at the same time it was a brilliant weekend and that’s why I’m back on the start line for this year’s event.”

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