Yorkshire rugby league heavyweights Huddersfield Giants and premium cycle wear brand Fat Lad At The Back are joining forces in May for a 120-mile bike ride, teaming up to raise money in memory of late Giants youth player Ronan Costello.
The Giants participants, most of whom are not cyclists, are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones, raising money for Headway, the charity that works to improve life after brain injury.
Headway provided specialist support to Ronan Costello’s family during the period following his injury and subsequent passing in June last year, having sustained a serious head injury in a match.
Eorl Crabtree, Giants ambassador and former England rugby league star, will lead the pack to Tyneside on the two days ahead of Magic Weekend, with the ride scheduled for May 19-20. Participants will wear bespoke cyclewear produced by Fat Lad At The Back, a replica of the Giants’ specially designed commemorative Magic Weekend rugby kit.
The collaboration between Huddersfield Giants and FLAB is also part of an ongoing drive and shared ethos to encourage more people to become physically active by participating in sporting activity and exercise.
Eorl Crabtree said: “We are proud to support Headway and are taking on this challenge in memory of Ronan Costello. It is nearly a year since the tragedy and we want to continue to celebrate Ronan’s life.
“Ronan will be on our jersey as we ride up to Newcastle thanks to Fat Lad At The Back; they have supported us all the way by designing our own bespoke cycle shirt based on the Giants Magic playing shirt and #RC13 logo. And I’m 6 ft 5 in and 18 stone, so as well as FLAB being a great fit for our cause, they’re also a great fit for me as an athlete.
“We want to raise as much as we can. Personally, I would love to see lots of support for us and the Giants in terms of donations while on the ride and at Magic Weekend. It will be a great two days of rugby league which should not be missed… but after 120 miles in the saddle, I’m not sure I will be able to sit down and enjoy the games!”
Paul Cribb, Commercial Manager at Huddersfield Giants, said: “The annual fundraising bike ride, led by Giants coaches Andy Kelly and Steve Hardisty, has been given an extra boost this year by the involvement of Fat Lad At The Back. FLAB represents a movement of people working together to increase their fitness and challenge their own demons, whatever they may be. They are a perfect fit with our club’s ethos of trying to encourage people to move, get fitter and do something that challenges themselves. The participation of Eorl Crabtree & Andy Raleigh will also significantly help raise the profile of the ride.
“We are looking forward to wearing our unique kit and reaching Newcastle the day before Giants’ big Magic Weekend clash against Catalans Dragons. It’s going to be tough, but worth it for such an important cause.”
Richard Bye, FLAB founder, will ride with the Giants to Newcastle and FLAB will provide mechanical assistance and a support vehicle en route
Richard said: “Both my boys play rugby and have sustained broken bones and various other injuries which seem traumatic at the time, but the story of Ronan Costello makes those pale into insignificance. Rugby is close to my heart and one of the safest sports around when you consider the tremendous impacts the players experience – all the more reason why accidents such as Ronan’s need to be remembered, to raise awareness and keep the sport safe. It is the least FLAB can do to support such an important fundraising campaign.
“The Huddersfield Giants have a wonderful ethos of inclusivity and encouragement; they are non-elitist and all about getting out there and achieving your own goals any way and anyhow, no matter your shape or size. That is a perfect match for our core values. FLAB is a community brand at heart – our cycling gear and sportives are designed for anyone who wants to ride, regardless of shape, size or ability.”
Support the fundraising campaign, and donate in memory of Ronan Costello to the charity Headway, by visiting www.justgiving.com/magicweekend2017 or texting 70070 with code RLFC50 followed by £**, entering value you wish to donate.