Wheelchair rugby skipper closes in on 2020 challenge target

Gerry McCrory will visit Grosvenor Shopping Northampton as part of his January fundraising effortThe end is in sight. To kick start the New Year, Gerry McCrory, the inspirational captain of Northampton Saints’ wheelchair rugby side, undertook a mammoth January challenge to raise £2,020 for the club, by cycling its equivalent in kilometres.

Each day this month, he has ridden 65km to meet his 2,020km challenge and with just 195km of that total left to complete, he will be making a pit-stop at Grosvenor Shopping Northampton, which partnered with the Saints’ wheelchair rugby side last year, on Wednesday 29 January, when he will be hoping to reach his target early.

From 11am on the day, McCrory will begin his third to last 65km on a static bike and will be supported by two of his team-mates.

At the time of writing, he had raised just under £1,800 – with all of those vital funds going towards the upkeep and maintenance of the club’s wheelchairs, as well as bringing in new equipment that will enable the club to grow in the future.

Speaking about undertaking the challenge, McCrory said: “I thought that with being an amputee and deciding to cycle 65km per day with one leg, that it could make people sit up and listen and maybe put their hand into their pocket to donate to such a worthwhile cause.

“I’m not going to lie the challenge has been very tough. Getting up early every morning to cycle 65km before you even leave the house is hard going. It is starting to take its toll, but the end is in sight and I’m slowly creeping up to my target. Knowing the money is going to a good cause really spurs me on.”

James Roberts, centre manager at Grosvenor Shopping Northampton, added: “What Gerry has been doing to raise funds for the Saints’ wheelchair rugby side since the turn of the year has been nothing short of remarkable and inspirational.

“He’s near the end of his challenge now and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the shopping centre on Wednesday. Myself and the team here have made our own donation towards his efforts and I would urge as many people to come down and meet Gerry, hear his story and find out about the great work that the wheelchair rugby team do in the local community.”

Jamie Higgins, inclusion officer at Northampton Saints, said: “It is great that Gerry has decided to fundraise for the Saints’ wheelchair rugby team. He is a great advocate for the sport but also in relation to proving that disability does not mean No Ability.

“Cycling 65km every day is no easy feat if you have two legs, let alone one. Gerry’s fundraising will help towards the wheelchair rugby programme as a whole and will help support people with disabilities to get involved in sport, where sometimes they feel excluded due to physical barriers and Gerry showing what is possible with a disability may encourage others like him and his teammates.”

The end may well be in sight in McCrory’s massive January mission, but there’s still time to give a valuable donation that will go a long way to supporting the Northampton Saints’ wheelchair rugby side. Further details can be found on the Gerry’s Go Fund Me page: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/the-saints-wheelchair-rugby-club