Rugby League Cares hits road to Rio

A group of celebrities, including two former rugby league players, are set to travel to Brazil this summer to mark the Olympics in special style for Rugby League Cares.

Mike Tomlinson, the husband of the late charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson, and TV presenter Charlie Webster, will be joined by former players Keith Senior and Paul Highton, as they cycle the 3000 miles to Rio from the Olympic Stadium in London.

The journey involves a 1,200-mile ride through France and 1,600 miles of pedalling along Brazil’s coastal roads, setting off from London on June 27.

The ride will also raise funds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal as well as Rugby League Cares.

Former Sheffield Eagles, Leeds Rhinos and Great Britain centre Keith Senior is delighted to be taking part in the challenge.

“It’s great to have this opportunity to raise funds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, Rugby League Cares and the Sheffield Eagles Include Foundation, of which I’m a trustee,” he said.

“Rugby League Cares does a lot of good work to help players succeed in their life after sport and I’m delighted to be doing the Rio Challenge on their behalf.

“I went through some tough times when I retired, as do a lot of players. Rugby League Cares does a fantastic job in providing support to players at every stage of their careers.”

Paul Highton, a former Great Britain Academy player who represented Wales at the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, added: “Jane Tomlinson was an inspiration to all of us who care about both life and sport and I feel privileged to be able to help build on her fantastic legacy on the Ride to Rio with Mike, Keith and Charlie.

“From a personal point of view I’m looking forward to helping Rugby League Cares, a charity which does so much good for players and everyone else involved in the sport.

“It’s good to be able to put something back into a game that means so much to so many people.”

Sheffield-born TV presenter Charlie Webster is looking forward to honouring the memory of Jane Tomlinson, the former newsreader who defied breast cancer to raise £1.8m for good causes.

The appeal fund set up by her family has gone on to raise a further £6m for children’s and cancer charities across the UK.

“Jane showed complete determination and courage throughout her diagnosis and if I can have an ounce of that courage then I know I’ll be fine,” said Webster.

“It’s going to be a long, hot journey, but as a sports fan, the thought of cycling into Rio gives me goose bumps and doing it for such an amazing cause makes it even more special.”

To support the team go to https://www.justgiving.com/RidetoRio or text JTR70 £5 to 70070 to donate £5. 

For more information about the challenge and the Jane Tomlinson Appeal visit www.janetomlinsonappeal.com

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