We have some fantastic fundraisers at Kent Sports Trust, going that extra mile to bring in much needed funds that go a long way to help others across Kent.

Whether it be a sponsored walk, bake sale, run, quiz, dress-down day, swim, or cycle, we will be there to help you along the fundraising journey.

One person that’s gone that extra mile is Selena Hollingsworth and here she explains why she’s involved.

If ever you thought you couldn’t do something, just ask Selena Hollingsworth as she will inspire you having taken part in the Goatham’s Great Kent Cycle Ride in July 2019.

Admittedly, “not a cyclist”, Selena went into the epic three day, 220 mile ride, with not quite enough training under her belt, but with determination and a will to succeed, she crossed the finish line at Goatham’s Flanders Farm with the dozens of other cyclists.

For someone that admits they weren’t always the most active person ever, Selena always had a passion for cycling and was often seen cycling to work as and when she could, but had never ventured beyond the odd social ride.

That was until early 2019 when Goatham’s Commercial Director, Carol Ford, persuaded Selena to sign up for the third ever Goatham’s Great Kent Cycle Ride, taking in the best parts Kent has to offer.

As Selena explains herself, she had always wanted to be involved in something like the ride, but didn’t necessarily have the self belief or confidence:

“Carol spoke to me about it and sold me the vision of completing the ride for me and helping others along the way.”

“I’d never done anything like this before and didn’t really know whether I could, but the Cycle 4 Heroes ride the week before prepared me as best as it could and gave me the belief I could pass my previous distance bests, even if I wasn’t the fastest!”

“I’d been riding to work and every now and then at weekends, but hadn’t been doing any sportives or anything like that before the summer.”

“Doing 45 miles showed what was possible, even on my mountain bike!”

“Cycle 4 Heroes is a great ride and for a great charity – Help 4 Heroes and getting to meet and ride with Dame Kelly Holmes gave me the confidence I needed.”

“I took part in the Goatham’s Great Kent Cycle Ride and Cycle 4 Heroes as I really appreciate the great work Kent Sports Trust and Help 4 Heroes do for helping others – that’s what it’s all about for me.”

As for her highlight of the Goatham’s Great Kent Cycle Ride, Selena explained:

“I think getting to the top of the hill at Capel-le-ferne on the morning of day two is right up there! Leaving Dover and knowing it was coming was daunting, but I was determined to get up there, no matter what and I did!”

“I was so proud of myself, but I couldn’t have done it alone. The likes of Steve Craddock, Carol and all the ride captains gave me the belief and advice to help me – that’s the best thing of the ride, no one is left behind and we were one big team and in a sense, one big family.”

“I didn’t know that many people when we started on the Friday morning, but it became apparent that everyone was so friendly and wanted to help each other out and support one another.”

Surprisingly, Selena found herself helping others on the ride and she took a lot from doing so:

“I didn’t think I’d be able to help anyone else, but everyone struggles at some point and it’s nice to be able to give them a bit of advice or help.”

“Mark Kent won’t mind me saying following my backside kept him going and he will always regret having too many layers of underwear on!!!”

“It was great to eat with everyone else in the evenings and we made some really strong friendships as we’ve all gone through the same experience.”

Having already signed up for the 2020 Goatham’s Great Kent Cycle Ride, Selena explained why she will be back for a second year:

“Having proved to everyone else and most importantly myself that I can do it, I want to go back and have another crack at it, but am looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces, meeting new people and enjoying the new route around Kent.”

“It is without doubt the best three day ride out there and if I can do it, anyone can.”

“For anyone thinking of signing up, do it! You really won’t regret it and it will be one of the best things you will ever do.”

“It’s given me so much more confidence, not only on the bike, but in my personal and work life.”

“I will never be the fastest, but that doesn’t matter and that’s what the ride is all about, it’s about being inclusive and helping out one another. What other ride does that?”

“Cycling allows me the time and space to think, to pick my head up and look around me, to chat to others, to make new friends and be the best version of me.”

Another cyclist taking part for the first time in 2019 was Kim Read and the experienced rider gave her answers as to why.

1, When did you get into cycling and who / what inspired you?

I began cycling about 8 years ago and I started because a friend of mine did. 

2, How much do you cycle on a regular basis?

I cycle every weekend and try to cycle to work a couple of times a week. 

3, Would you consider yourself a strong rider?

Yes, I would consider myself quite a strong rider. 

4, Why do you cycle and what other sport / activities do you do?

I cycle because I love it and you can cover many miles. I also run and am beginning to swim a bit more. 

5, What was your reason for taking part in the 2019 GGKCR?

I was asked along by my friend Zoe and fancied the challenge. 

6, What’s the highlight of GGKCR for you?

The food was incredible I must say…. but top of the list was the friendly atmosphere and support. 

7, How much do you enjoy supporting others to achieve their goals?

I do enjoy helping other people so they realise they are not on their own and that they can do it. 

8, How do you think we can encourage more people to take up cycling?

Erm this is a tough one…….just encouragement really. 

9, Why would you recommend GGKCR to anyone thinking of signing up?

Because it’s very well organised, you get to ride with all different abilities and the support and friendship is incredible……and once again the food was fabulous!

10, Why have you agreed to cycle with us again in 2020?

Because I enjoyed it so much this year I didn’t want to miss out, plus it’s raising money for 2 great charities. 

You can still sign up today and until 31st December 2019 for the early bird price of just £50.

Click here to enter.

If you have an event in mind or would like some more ideas, please contact the fundraising team at  [email protected] or on (01634) 820780.

Connect with us and find out more about our events and activities @KentSportsTrust or using the links below: