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Teesside University sports therapy team to support charity bike ride

01 September 2012 @TeessideUni


Sports therapy students and staff from Teesside University will once again be offering support to participants of the Great North Bike Ride, an event that raises money for a rare form of cancer.

For the third year running, volunteers from the University will be providing post event massages for the riders.

The Great North Bike Ride is a 57 mile ride along the Northumberland coastline, from Seahouses to Tynemouth Priory.

It originally started in 2000 when six friends of Chris Lucas decided to do a sponsored cycle ride for the charity. In 2001 the number of riders had increased to 58 and by 2011 the number of cyclists had exceeded 2300. The GNBR has become a major local event, attracting elite and recreational cyclists from the North East and beyond.

The cyclists will be raising money for the Chris Lucas Trust, an organisation which raises money for research for children with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of muscular cancer which affects approximately 1,400 children each year.

Helen Llewellyn, Senior Lecturer in Sports Therapy at Teesside University, said: 'We first got involved with the Chris Lucas Trust and Great North Bike Ride a few years ago as I’m personal friends with the Lucas Family. I mentioned that our students had volunteered at the Great North Run, as massage therapists.

'The charity asked if we would be able to provide a similar role for them. The University agreed that this was a good opportunity for our students to gain some ‘hands on’ experience.'

The event attracts many elite cyclists, so the students will be very busy from the start, expecting to provide in excess of 150 massages at the event.

Helen added: 'The feedback from the riders last year was extremely positive. Many commented on the high standard of professionalism demonstrated by our students and all were very grateful for the service we provided. In addition, many riders donated money to the charity for their massage, so we’re hoping to make an even bigger difference this year.

'These types of events are of great benefit to our students as they have the opportunity to gain experience in a post event sports specific environment. The more work based experience a student gains while at University, the greater the range of employability skills they will be able to evidence upon completion of their degree.'

Last year the Chris Lucas Trust hit an amazing £1m milestone after an original target of £70,000 to fund a researcher for two years, with the funds from the Great North Bike Ride providing the largest proportion.

This year’s Great North Bike Ride will be held on 26 August, 2012 and anyone interested in participating in the bike ride or donating to the Chris Lucas Trust can visit

In the News

Students promise therapy to cyclists
Northern Echo, 24/08/2012, p.14
Sports therapy students and staff from a North-East university will be offering support to participants of the Great North Bike Ride, an event raising money for a rare form of cancer. For the third ye