June-July 2023 | News

Get on your bike for Rotary Ride

Get on your bike for Rotary Ride

We take a look ahead to Rotary Ride, and how the event has helped raise awareness for prostate cancer across the UK and Ireland.

Planning for Rotary Ride 2023 this September is well under way with the focus on raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer.

Rotary Ride originally started in 2014/15, with a brief one-year hiatus in support of eradication of polio, it has raised vital funds supporting the four main national prostate cancer in Great Britain and Ireland; Prostate Cancer UK, Prostate Scotland, Prostate Cymru and the Irish Cancer Society.

Following cancellations for two years due to Covid, Rotary Ride 2021 and 2022 resumed raising funds for prostate cancer.

In 2021, through events hosted by 36 Rotary clubs we raised over ÂŁ30,000 and distributed more than 2,000 leaflets about prostate cancer.

In 2022, another 25 clubs hosted events raising over ÂŁ20,000 and distributing a further 2,000.

Rotary Ride efforts have led to considerable engagement and awareness with the public about prostate cancer.”

Rotary Ride has raised over ÂŁ50,000 for prostate cancer research and education which is an impressive amount considering less than 30 clubs are hosting Rotary Ride events.

With more than 1,500 clubs in Great Britain & Ireland, imagine the amount of funds we could raise if that number increased ten-fold.

Through Rotary Ride, this has raised the profile of Rotary and what it does in the local communities. It has also raised awareness of prostate cancer and raise funds.

Every Rotary club has been affected either directly or indirectly by prostate cancer. Whether we have lost a loved one, members of our extended family, personal friends, members of our own Rotary club or been personally diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Here are some statistics about this cancer that affects only men who are mostly in the age-demographic of our membership in Rotary:

  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, affecting 1 in 8 in Great Britain and Ireland sometime during their lifetime.
  • More than 52,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. That equates to approximately 140 men every day.
  • Around 475,000 men within Great Britain and Ireland are living with prostate cancer or post cancer treatment, including myself a
    seven-year survivor.
  • Prostate cancer is treatable if caught early, but sadly more than 12,000 men die from prostate cancer within Great Britain and Ireland annually. That equates to a man dying from prostate cancer every 45 minutes.
  • Prostate cancer never takes a holiday, nor does it discriminate. Well known celebrities who have died of prostate cancer include radio and TV presenter, Bill Turnbull, comedian Bob Monkhouse, author James Herriot and Winston Churchill.

Everyone reading this article has heard of prostate cancer, but what is the prostate and what is prostate cancer?

  • The prostate is a walnut size gland that sits beneath the bladder and surrounds the urethra.
  • Prostate cancer develops when cells in the prostate start to grow in an uncontrollable manner. Sometimes the cancer grows so slowly to not cause any problems before diagnosis, but other times like mine it grows rapidly and begins to spread.
  • Early prostate cancer often has no symptoms so many men don’t know that they are affected.
  • Men are at risk if they are over 50, of Black ethnicity or if they have a family history of prostate cancer.

Rotary Ride 2023 planning is under way for this September. Guidance packages are now available for clubs to host an event. We have contacts with UK cycling organisations who can assist with planning and conducting an event.

Participating and hosting an event does not need to be complicated. You could sponsor a club member who is a cyclist who is cycling in an event and donate raised funds through a prostate organisation’s Rotary Ride JustGiving website, like many did last year.

Last year, clubs hosted static cycle rides in the entrance of supermarkets, actual rides through their local area and other types of activities.

Granted, the demographics for many Rotary clubs does not lead to many members participating in rides, but they can still support an event through marshalling, fund raising, and running an event.

The scary thing is that the age demographics of our members are the ones most susceptible to the diagnosis of prostate cancer. That’s why it is not selfish to address this cause.

Rotary Ride efforts have led to considerable engagement and awareness with the public about prostate cancer.

Rotary Ride 2023 is planned for the entire month of September, with special emphasis on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th. However, clubs are not restricted to hosting events during September. One club last year held a ride in the summer to raise funds for a local prostate cancer support group.

Contact your local cycling clubs to see if you can work with them on hosting a ride. They most likely have the knowledge needed to plan and run a ride. Also, in the guidance package being developed is a guide from British Cycling on how to plan and run a non-competitive cycling event.

To contact the four prostate cancer organisations, use the following links:

Each of these prostate cancer organisations has a JustGiving website your club can use to make a donation following your event.

The Rotary Ride 2023 website is where you can download our guidance package, British Cycling Guide for planning a “non-competitive” ride, access the Rotary Ride event site to post your club’s event. You can also contact us via email.

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