The event – which will be held on May 18 on an off-road cycle route at Skipton’s Auction Mart –hopes to attract about 200 young entrants aged from four to 12.
The brainchild of cycling enthusiast David Goldie, the Tour de Mart will be a first for the town “This community cycling fundraiser is especially designed so that children can raise money either for the hospital or for a charity of their choice,” said David. “With the recent increase in interest in cycling locally, I thought that the chance to run an event of this kind for children was an opportunity not to be missed.”
Participants, split into four different age groups, will be able to cycle as many laps as they can manage around a specially designed route within the mart grounds. A whole host of other events, including bike security marking, face painting, bike road skills, and other sports activities are also planned for the day. The organisers have visited Craven schools over the past two weeks explaining the concept to headteachers and have met with a very positive response.
David said: “We are delighted with the enthusiasm that has greeted this new venture – we are sure that with the primary schools’ involvement it will be a great success and we hope it will become just one of the many legacies that the forthcoming Tour de France will leave in its wake.”
The Tour de Mart will be one of the first events for Airedale Hospital’s dedicated appeal for the new emergency department. The money raised will be used to buy and install distraction walls in the children’s assessment rooms, which help keep children relaxed during assessment and treatment making their visit to hospital less distressing for them and their parents.
Dr Meg Crossley, emergency department consultant at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted that Skipton Rotary Club has nominated the emergency department’s children's distraction walls as its lead charity for the Tour de Mart junior cycling event. The funds raised will make an enormous difference to the patient experience when children come into hospital as an emergency. This event has a really special concept at its heart - children raising money to help other children through what can sometimes be a very stressful situation.”
The Tour de Mart is supported by a wide variety of local organisations and individuals including lead sponsor, CCM Auctions, together with the Craven Herald, Craven Volunteer Centre, Dave Ferguson Cycles, SELFA, Silver Cross Ltd, Skipton Cycling Club, Smart Financial Planning, Stuart Rider Cycles, and North Yorkshire Police.
Rotary Club president Gordon Jolly said: “This community fundraising event is being organised in conjunction with a whole raft of organisations and individuals without whose generosity, support and expertise the Tour de Mart could not take place.”
Entry to the event is free and further details of how to take part can be found at skiptonrotary.org