Henry Davies is a strength and conditioning coach and physical education teacher at Cheltenham College, and is busy gearing up to take on RideLondon on Sunday 30th July to help raise funds for our Leckhampton Court Hospice. Here, Henry shares why he is taking on this iconic 100-mile cycle race around the nation’s capital.
"My step-father Ken received amazing treatment at the hospice," says Henry. "The work that the staff did for him was inspiring, and I want to help the hospice continue to provide this incredible support for other similar patients and families.
"I'm aiming to raise £2,000, which is the equivalent of four days of care in the hospice’s specialist inpatient unit, as I am keen to give back to the charity who has supported by family," he continues. "It is an inspiring thought that I could help contribute towards making someone’s life a little bit more comfortable at the most difficult of times by taking on this challenge."
160 hours of training and 3,000 miles
Henry is currently undertaking five training sessions a week to get himself race-ready, with two short rides, two weight training sessions and one longer ride. By the time he gets to the start line, Henry will have completed 160 hours of training and have an incredible 3,000 miles of cycling under his belt as part of his dedicated 20-week programme in the run-up to the event.
When the going gets tough, Henry says the thought of what the money he is raising will do helps him through.
"Helping others going through a very difficult time keeps me going," he explains. "What’s 100 miles on a bike compared to what some people go through living with a life-limiting condition? In my mind, the discomfort of long rides on the bike is nothing in comparison to what others are facing on a daily basis. I just hope I can raise enough money to help make their lives more comfortable."
"The small things make the biggest difference"
A seasoned cyclist, Henry has taken part in a number of cycling challenges before, including the hospice’s own flagship cycling event Ride for Ryder.
Family and friends are really supportive of Henry’s challenge, with fundraising for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice a real family affair. Henry’s uncle Ed Winfield completed the London Marathon for the hospice last year, raising £3,700, and his mum Clare Young is raising funds by handcrafting knitted items, which has raised over £800 so far for the hospice.
"It’s difficult to explain how much of an impact the care and support has meant to my family," Henry says. "Ken was able to be comfortable whilst going through a very stressful time, and was able to learn some new-found skills in painting. It’s the small things like that that make the biggest difference.
"The hospice continues to provide support for my Mum, which I can’t thank you enough for. It is a phenomenal place, with outstanding staff," he concludes.