TEAMS from Jersey and Guernsey are going head to head in a 600-mile cycling race from St Malo to Nice, and a competition to raise money for charity.
A team of four from Ernst & Young’s Jersey office is taking on a quartet from their Guernsey office in a test, not only of their physical endurance but also their abilities to raise money for their chosen charities.
The two teams set off from St Malo at midday on Sunday 15 July and aim to cover around 200 miles per day. The solo leg from Geneva to Nice will involve climbs over mountain passes that regularly appear in the Tour de France including the Col du Telegraph and Col du Galibier. The route will take cyclists across the highest paved road in Europe (Cime de la Bonette) before finishing in Nice in the south of France on Sunday 22 July.
Each participant will cover their own travel and accommodation expenses and both teams are aiming to raise a minimum of £2,000, which Ernst & Young will then match. The money raised will go to Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey and the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (Sands) Guernsey Branch.
It is the second consecutive year that Geraint Davies, Ernst & Young’s Audit Partner, has organised the challenge. Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer six years ago, Mr Davies initiated it as a way of celebrating passing the initial five year milestone.
He said: ‘After last year’s challenge, when we cycled from St Malo to Monaco, I was encouraged to get more people involved, but not without making it tougher and raising a lot more funds for local charities.
‘I chose Macmillan because they deal so effectively with the non-clinical impact on people’s lives, not only the cancer sufferers themselves but also their families. We are now in an age where cancer touches most families at some point.’
Ernst & Young will begin promoting the challenge internally during National Bike Week (18 – 24 June). To raise awareness of their fundraising activities, the teams are encouraging people in both offices to cycle to work and employees will be able to get their bikes serviced to ensure they are safe and road worthy. People will also be encouraged to train with the team to gain an understanding of how tough it is going to be during the challenge.
The Jersey team includes Partners Geraint Davies and Chris Matthews, Director Chris Barry and Senior Manager Pieter du Plessis. The Guernsey team is Transactions Manager Chris Bold, Assurance Manager Tim Nicolle, Tax Consultant Iain Pinnock and Audit Executive David Mosley.
Mr Davies said: ’The Jersey team are aiming to go out on our bikes at least three times a week as well as continuing with our individual endurance training. However, fitting this into business travel and commitments makes this difficult at times.’
Macmillan Jersey provides cancer information and support from their drop-in centre at the Lido Medical Centre, St Saviours Road. This service is available to all, including patients, their families, friends and carers, as well as health care professionals.
Sands Guernsey Branch is part of a nation-wide network of groups, which exist to provide support and care throughout individual and group befriending. The charity provides an invaluable service to parents who have suffered the devastating loss of a baby. The charity has recently provided invaluable support to friends of the Ernst & Young’s colleagues and is therefore very close to their hearts.