An inspired group of 47 cricketers cycled from Headingley, Leeds to Lord’s Cricket Ground in London in a gruelling 435km challenge, raising over £75,000 for the Professional Cricketers’ Trust on their way.
After suffering a £140,000 shortfall in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity – that supports cricketers and their family members with support such as mental health counselling and the provision of specialist medical equipment – were glad to have raised such an impressive amount of money.
“On the back of one of our most challenging years ever in 2020, it was incredible to see the level of support for the Trust”.Kathryn Ford, Professional Cricketers’ Trust Head of Fundraising.
Participants took to the road on the 14th of October on a journey that lasted three days. Riders fought through fatigue and adversity in enthusiastic support for a charity they share immense gratitude towards.
This group of 47 included renowned former England stars Tim Bresnan, Joe Denly and Ryan Sidebottom, and was made up of past and present professional cricketers, sponsors, PCA partners and PCA staff.
Mental health in Cricket is a serious issue: a narrative review of mental illness in cricket conducted by the BMJ showed cricketers to be ‘at high risk for distress, anxiety, depression and adverse alcohol use.’
With household names such as Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison and Marcus Trescothick opening up about their personal battles with mental health, people are more concerned than ever about the wellbeing of their heroes.
Fortunately, past and present professional cricketers in England and Wales can access a confidential helpline that is funded by the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, where they can talk to a professional counsellor in absolute confidence.
If a PCA member is struggling with a personal problem such as drink, drugs, gambling, dependency, bereavement, depression anything that may affect their life, help is a phone call away. Further support, such as the Mind Matters tutorials that were launched in 2012, aim to help members recognise the circumstances that could lead to a problem with substances, gambling or alcohol and continue to be an important resource for past and present players.
In addition to this, the PCA even have their own Thrive wellbeing app, created and developed with the support of UK psychologists and psychiatrists. The app can be accessed by players free of charge and provides further insight into the great work that the Professional Cricketers’ Trust do to support those in need.
“It was a long, brutal but ultimately very enjoyable few days doing the Headingley to Lord’s bike ride. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved and who got us through the 435km in one piece. The Professional Cricketers’ Trust has an amazing team and I’d like to thank everyone who has donated over the past few days to help me reach my target, but more importantly to contribute towards an amazing charity in the Trust. Who knows? Maybe I’ll sign up for the next event, too!”England and Kent cricketer, Joe Denly, reflected on a memorable weekend.
Read more about the Professional Cricketers’ Trust on their website.