Two play therapists from Nottingham University Hospital are gearing up to cycle the coast of Brazil in September 2017 to raise money for Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
Samantha Ward and Claire Hardy, from the Children’s Hospital Play Service, will pedal a gruelling 300 km from Sao Paulo to Rio in tropical temperatures to raise funds for Nottingham Hospitals Charity.
Their five-day ride will take them across rivers, through thick forest, and up steep gradients, taking in the coastal towns of Guaruja and Caragua, the rainforest island of Ilha Bela, and the conservation area of Picinguaba before they reach Rio. They will camp overnight on their way.
Claire, who won fundraiser of the year in the 2014 Nottingham University Hospital Honours, says: “The thought of cycling for five consecutive days in the heat is already terrifying us, not to mention the sore bottoms and the insects when we’re camping overnight! Having cycled from London to Paris in 2012 I am well aware of the pain that lies ahead.”
Sam, who until recently had not ridden a bike since she was 11, says: “The ride is designed to be challenging so we are both signed up to the gym and will be out on our bikes in preparation for the event over the next 12 months.
“Nottingham Children’s Hospital is our place of work, so we are very passionate about raising funds through the Charity for a cause that means so much to us. We work daily with children, young people and their families dealing with many different conditions. Seeing their strength and courage through such tough times has spurred us on to challenge ourselves. They are our inspiration.”
The money raised will be shared equally between three areas; Ward E39 (Oncology), Ward E17 (Renal & Urology), and to support the improvement of parents accommodation, which will benefit families attending the hospital.
The cycling duo are holding many fundraising events in the run-up to their challenge to help them meet their target of £11,000, kicking off with a cake sale on 1 August. Other events include a fashion show, music night and Rio carnival-themed ball.