Alex Dowsett appointed Cycle 2000 team Ambassador

British road racing cyclist Alex Dowsett has been named official Ambassador for The Cycle 2000 team in support of Help For Heroes and The Soldiers’ Charity.

Alex is three time British National Time Trial Champion and rides for the Spanish Movistar team. His biggest career win to date came with victory in the brutal stage 8 55km time trial at the 2013 Giro D’Italia.

He comments; “I am proud to support Cycle 2000, hopefully we can raise lots of money and awareness for our wounded and injured military personnel”.

In August 2013, a team of cyclists will set off from Manchester on a 2000 kilometre cycle ride around all 20 Barclays Premier League stadia. The aim is to complete the challenge in Manchester, in time for the first Premier League game of the season on the weekend of 17th August.  The team consists of wounded and injured military personnel, veterans and Barclays’ employees, some of whom are ex-military, raising money and awareness for Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) personnel transitioning into civilian employment.

The number of personnel being medically discharged by the British military is at its highest since the Second World War. Many of those being discharged, while still being extremely capable, do have barriers to employment, with many needing to undergo vocational training and education in order to take up civilian roles.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has set up a number of regional Personnel Recovery Units (PRUs) around the country and in partnership with Service charities some Personnel Recovery Centres (PRCs). The support for those individuals transitioning through these establishments is significant. Support from industry is growing on a daily basis.

MoD funding is available for every service leaver; however the additional funding being provided by the Service charities has seen significant numbers of Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) personnel now re-qualified and in employment. This event is to raise funds to enable WIS service personnel to gain education and employment by supporting initiatives conducted by the Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) The Soldiers Charity and Help for Heroes (H4H) in association with the Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment and Resettlement (AFTER) programme.

In 2011, the Premier League Stadia Challenge was carried out by three serving soldiers who took up the challenge for a number of causes including the ABF. The three non-cyclists completed the  1000k route in seven days and funds raised exceeded all expectations. It was clear that with the right backing a similar event could be conducted raising significant money and awareness for these training and employment initiatives. An approach was made to the Barclays AFTER programme from one of the riders and this event has developed as a result.

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