6 November 2019

BP's One Team cycle ride in aid of ParalympicsGB most successful yet

With the motivational words of two-time Paralympian Richard Whitehead and BP Ambassador ringing in their ears, BP staff set their own new record at their annual One Team cycle ride which took place last month.

Nearly 300 employees from around the country took to the roads of Surrey - cycling up to 100km while raising valuable funds for ParalympicsGB.

Thanks to the generosity of employees, as well as BP who matched donations, over £12,500 was raised – the biggest total yet since the first BP charity cycle ride took place nine years ago.

The annual event was set up by founding member Phillip Neal, BP’s Director of Digital Workplace, back in 2011 after he and a group of BP colleagues took part in a similar cycle ride elsewhere.

The group quickly realised there was scope to run something similar that would support one of the key values at BP – One Team.

Phillip explained: “We really wanted to organise an event that would allow people to get together, spend a day out on the bike, have fun –make some new acquaintances - while reaping the health benefits that go along with cycling. We wanted to do something that was also about giving back.”

The first ride saw around 150 riders take part and proved so successful that an annual event was quickly established. While a volunteer committee of nine BP staff members still take time out from their day jobs to organise the event, event specialists help plan the route, organise signposts, marshals, food stops and emergency repairs. The emphasis is on inclusivity - and cyclists of all abilities and experience are encouraged to take part.

Planning for next year’s event is already underway, with the ride confirmed for September 2020 – not long after the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Mike Sharrock, Chief Executive Officer of the British Paralympic Association, said: “The BP One Team Cycle Ride is a fantastic event that goes from strength to strength each year and the ride is now one of the largest fundraising events for ParalympicsGB annually.

“The support of BP’s employees is invaluable in helping us ensure our athletes are best prepared and able to perform in a way we know helps inspire change within society.”

Peter Mather, Group Regional President Europe, & Head of Country UK, said:

“Congratulations to all the riders who took part in the BP One Cycle Ride and who raised much needed funds for the British Paralympic Association, a BP partner for over 11 years.

“Diversity and inclusion is an important part of the company’s vision of breaking down barriers related to long term illness, injury, and disability. The company’s support, including that of employees, for ParalympicsGB is essential in providing opportunities for Paralympic athletes to achieve their potential through sport.”

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