Go downhill at Hamsterley for Help for Heroes

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Want to get on your bike (even a hardtail will do!) and raise money for the charity that helps wounded soldiers, Help For Heroes?

On the weekend of September 29 and 30 members of the British Army Downhill Team are organising a charity four-cross and downhill race at Descent Bike Park, Hamsterley Forest.

The brainchild of serving soldier Jack Bennett (31), the aim of the weekend is to raise over £5000 for Help for Heroes.

Bennett and his team hope that over 250 amateur and professional riders will take part in what promises to be an excellent weekend bikefest.

Professional riders who have already signed up include 2011 UCI world downhill champion Danny Hart, who is an avid supporter of Help for Heroes and Scott Mear, UK and World Cup rider.

Jack serves with the 1st battalion the Yorkshire regiment, and is also the manager of the Army Downhill Team. He hopes by mixing up two of his passions he will be able to help those less fortunate than him.

He said: “A few years back I was injured in Afghanistan and received some very good rehabilitation support. Although I was lucky and recovered enough to continue serving, many I came across were not so lucky. There are guys out there that need as much help as possible since in many cases their world has been ripped apart and their career ended.”

It’s these experiences that inspired Jack to organise the event. He says Help for Heroes seemed like an obvious charity to support due to the work they do. Jack has also asked the money raised from the day goes directly to the Catterick Personnel Recovery Centre.

“I know a few guys that have been through [Catterick], and it’s an excellent facility that has really helped them get back on the road to (almost) full recovery both physically and mentally.  This to me is an essential Support Centre as it’s one of only five in the country and the only one up North where I live.”

The two day event will include practise sessions on Saturday and the full race on Sunday. Race categories start at Rippers for 10-12 year olds right through to Elite, and there’s a hardtail category for old-schooler and suspension refuseniks. On-site camping is available.

For lots more information see www.cycletyre.com/help-heroes-race

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