THREE UK automotive industry leaders will be cycling on water for charity – tackling the River Thames from source to sea.
The Epic Thames Waterbike Ride is this year’s Industry Leader Challenge (ILC) in aid of Ben – the independent charity for the automotive industry.
The feat of endurance will see Volvo Car UK managing director Jon Wakefield, Allianz Partners UK & Ireland chief executive Tim Tozer, and Group 1 Automotive managing director Darren Guiver pedal the 166-mile route on waterbikes, with a fundraising target of £300,000 to support industry employees going through tough times.
They will be cycling on water alongside boats and through a total of 45 locks.
The trio took on the baton for ILC 2019 from Andy Bruce, chief executive of Lookers, whose 2018 challenge – the Lookers Electric Charge – raised £215,755 for Ben.
The men will take on the course of the river from July 4 to 7, starting at Thames Head near Kemble, Gloucestershire, and ending at the mouth of the North Sea, making it an incredible test of physical and mental endurance, as well as stamina, from start to finish.
Guiver said: ‘I am honoured and privileged to have been asked to represent Ben in the ILC initiative –- such a worthy cause doing amazing work for industry colleagues across the country. I only hope that after nearly 170 miles in the saddle I can still smile.’
Wakefield said: ‘The work Ben does to support those who need it across our hugely varied industry is invaluable, so I’m honoured to be joining Darren and Tim in the 2019 Industry Leader Challenge. While the prospect of riding a water bike for 166 miles fills me with no small amount of dread, the money we’ve challenged ourselves to raise will make the experience worthwhile.’
And Tozer said: ‘This will be a demanding, fun and real physical challenge that I am thrilled to be involved with alongside my two industry colleagues. Supporting Ben is fantastic, as it gives those working in our industry phenomenal support when it is needed most. We are determined to succeed in raising much-needed funds to help Ben continue its vital, compassionate work.’
Matt Wigginton, business development director at Ben, added: ‘We’re beyond excited about this incredible challenge and we’re delighted that Jon, Tim and Darren are fundraising for us in such an epic way. Cycling on water on one of the busiest rivers in England is certainly no mean feat!
‘We wish our 2019 industry leader trio the best of luck and we’re very much looking forward to following them on their journey. Our services are funded entirely – and can only continue – through the generous support of the industry. Fundraising activities such as this are vital in ensuring that we can continue to provide life-changing support to industry colleagues.’
Donations can be made via justgiving.com/fundraising/benilc2019.
Pictured at top from left are Jon Wakefield, Darren Guiver and Tim Tozer