Wednesday, 17 April 2024
Wednesday, 17 April 2024

‘Tri for Tom’ sees Cambridge gym team cycle across the UK in memory of local boy

A Cambridge gym team are taking up a unique take on a triathlon in memory of a local boy who died from a brain tumour.

As part of the ‘Tri for Tom’, the group from F45 gym will be cycling all the way to Brighton and back, while stopping at other F45 gyms in London along the way and taking part in a number of physical challenges with other employees while they’re there.

Once they arrive in Brighton after the gruelling 200km journey, they will be swimming as far as they can before staying overnight in the area and cycling back to Cambridge the next day.

One of the four team members is Andrew Whiteley, the dad of Tom Whiteley who died at the age of nine from a brain tumour in 2010.

The money raised will go to Tom’s Trust, a charity supporting children with mental health care after a brain tumour diagnosis, as well as their families, which Andrew co-founded in 2011 with Tom’s mum Debs.

Andrew, who is a member of the gym and lives in Ickleton, said:

“When Sarah at F45 said that she wanted to undertake a significant challenge to raise funds for Tom’s Trust and that she wanted me to be involved I had no idea she would come up with this. I haven’t ridden a bike any distance since I was a kid and Brighton is a very, very long way away! I love a challenge though and like Tom, I’m a fighter and will never give up!”

Sarah Craske, Owner of F45, who is taking on the challenge, said:

“We’re all fit but we don’t cycle so it’s a really big challenge for us. The other studios are happy to get people involved as well and I think they’ll jump in with everything, which is really lovely and will help us feel supported and motivated in completing this challenge. We’ve got a great supportive community here as well so they’ll back us. 

“Andrew is one of our foundation members and a great part of the community. He approached us about bits and bobs for Tom’s Trust and this was our idea about doing something bigger to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the charity. It sounds really cheesy but we have a lot of time for him, he’s a great member, and he really supported us through COVID when it was difficult for businesses. He’s just a really nice guy, we heard about what happened to Tom early on and wanted to do something to help.”

Also taking up one-quarter of the F45 trio is Callum Osborne, F45 Coach. Callum has coached Andrew in F45 classes since the day he joined and, as Andrew’s friend, wanted to support Tom’s Trust with this huge challenge.

The last team member is Simon Harrison, a former money broker and father-of-two from Epping, who decided to join with just weeks to go until the challenge. Simon is Tom’s godfather, who – fortunately for the rest of the team – is a keen cyclist and likes to support Tom’s Trust however he can.

You can donate to the team’s fundraising page or find out more about Tom’s Trust at www.tomstrust.org.uk.

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