Thank you to all of our Cycle 250 personal sponsors.
The Cycle 250 was the launch of our fundraising strategy, to raise money to enable the team to play more high quality international matches to ensure we have the best preparation to be successful in London 2012.
This cycle symbolises our own journey over the last 3 years and the rest of our journey to London 2012.
The GB women’s volleyball team set off from Sheffield at 9am on Saturday 24th July, 2010, on the first leg of their four-day mission to cycle to London, raising awareness of financial shortages which threaten their continued progress as an aspiring Olympic team.
They reached the capital on Tuesday 27th July, 2010 - exactly two years to the London Olympics’ Opening Ceremony. Proficient athletes on the volleyball court, many of them haven’t been on bike since they were 12-years-old but the action is deemed necessary to save their dream of competing at their best in London 2012.
Financial constraints have recently dictated that their Sheffield-based programme be suspended for the next eight months and the cycle ride was their idea to generate the additional funds necessary to establish them as an Olympic squad with genuine potential and the capacity to make an impact on the Games.
The route took them to:
- Hampton Court
- Richmond Park
- Trafalgar Square
- Earls Court
Along the way, they took part in demonstration volleyball events, offered the public rides on a giant 7-seater-bike, met the local people and spread the word of volleyball and their intention to raise a necessary total of £250,000 to maintain their programme over the winter 2010-2011.
During the cycle ride, the squad and staff stayed in donated accommodation from army barracks to a conference hotel. They, among other events, played beach volleyball on the Market Square in Nottingham, met the Mayor of Leicester, cycled around the track where Sir Roger Bannister famously broke the four-minute-mile in Oxford and joined the Countdown-to-London celebrations in the capital.
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Launch Day: Friday 23rd July - Sheffield
Day 1: Saturday 24th July - Sheffield to Nottingham
Day 2: Sunday 25th July - Nottingham to Stratford
Day 3: Monday 26th July - Stratford to Reading
Day 4: Tuesday 27th July - Reading to London
Audrey Cooper, the GB women’s volleyball head coach said:
“It’s no surprise to me the girls are doing this, knowing their determination and energy.
They are not willing to turn up at London 2012 under-prepared. They want to be as good as they can be at our home Olympics to make the country proud.
They’ve conducted themselves so admirably and professionally this season. They’ve played some absolutely tremendous volleyball against really tough opposition. We need that competition. We need to go on playing quality matches so we can do our best in 2012.
When we realised the required funding wasn’t there, we said: ‘What can we do as a group of athletes and staff to get off our backsides and help ourselves?’ We came up with the bike ride and we are prepared to do absolutely anything to keep our 2012 dreams alive.
We started from nothing in 2007 and we’ve improved out of sight since then. We are simply not prepared to give up now.”
The Great Britain Women’s Volleyball Team would like to thank the following partners for helping the Cycle 250 event possible!