When mum-of-two Lory Mortley, 39 year suffered a serious brain injury playing rugby, her teammates embarked on an epic journey to help raise funds for her care.
Three members of Lewes Rugby Football Club got on their bikes to undertake a five-day ride to Lewes’ twin town, Blois in northern France.
From September 7-13, senior coaches Will Bell, 28 and Nigel Baker, 49 rode alongside Pete Barron, 50, Lewes RFC junior coach and bike-ride blogger.
Pete’s blog ‘Ride for Lory’ described the team’s racing highs and chafing lows.
Their scenic route took them over the River Seine, past impressionist painter Claude Monet’s house and allowed them to admire the stunning view of the Chateau de Chambord.
After four days of pedalling, Team Lory arrived at their destination and were thrilled by the support of everyone they met. Pete said: “People are clearly affected by Lory’s plight and their spontaneous generosity continues to bowl me over.”
Members of Blois RFC escorted fundraisers into the town and introduced them to the Mayor’s representative. Pete said: “Proudly we ceremonially rolled in together, two clubs acting as part of the same rugby family to support an injured colleague.” He explains these values are very important to the French and the Blois team plan their own fundraising events in aid of Lory. “Standing around in sweaty cycling shorts, shaking hands with the very relaxed local dignitaries didn’t feel remotely embarrassing. The French focused on what was important.” Organiser Nigel said: “I never thought it possible I could ride 600km – it’s amazing what you can do with hard work and a great team.”
On their return, an auction at The Swan, Lewes, raised more than £900, with friends bidding for the team’s well-worn cycling shirts, a bike, and a Real Madrid shirt, signed by current players. The current total donated now stands at over £4,000 but Lewes RFC want to raise more. “This means we have already exceeded our initial target of £3,000,” said Pete. Visit www.rideforlory.com