“When I am finishing mile 42 of a training ride, it’s easy to question why I said yes to the latest cycling challenge,” said Balls2 Marketing’s joint MD and People in Glazing’s (PiGS) Sarah Ball. “But it doesn’t take long to remember that being part of We Mind and Kelly Matter’s team, it’s important to raise both awareness and money for this incredible charity.”
Sarah is taking on a 10-day cycling challenge in September as part of the European Team for Kelly’s Heroes, having formerly taken part of the Paddle2Pedal women-in-glazing team in 2017 and she also braved the high altitudes of the Inca Trail in 2015.
When Sarah found out about the ‘Loneliest Road’ at a PiGS networking event, she knew straight away that it was important for her to get involved. Alongside Sarah and ten other industry and charity riders will be Sarah’s daughter, Stephanie Ward. As an electrician, Stephanie is a vocal advocate for mental health issues within the construction industry. Her social media pages reportedly provide a wealth of information and support to anyone struggling.
“Never before has there been so much pressure on mental health services” said Sarah. “No family is unaffected, and the past two years of the pandemic have shown that we are all in need of help and support at some time during our lives. The reason we wanted to be part of the team is that We Mind and Kelly Matters has a hands on approach to supporting people when they need it.”
The European challenge begins in Spain on 10th September, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day. The route follows through France, including a 16-mile climb of 3,970 ft to the top of Mont Ventoux before finishing in Sendenhorst in Germany. Once the European leg is completed, the US Team will begin their journey; a longer 17-day ride that begins in New York and ends in San Francisco on the 10 of October. Which coincides with World Mental Health Day.
Both Sarah and Stephanie are training exceptionally hard ahead of the challenge. “We understand the importance of putting the miles in on the run up to events like these,” adds Sarah. “The challenge is huge, and we want to ensure that we have trained as much as possible before we set off.
“Of course, with charity events, there’s the question of sponsorship. We need to raise money for the charity and donations can be made through the Just Giving Page.”
To track her progress, Sarah will be posting regular updates on her personal socials, as well as on the Balls2 Marketing and PiGs pages.