A national trade organization based in Tunbridge Wells got on their bikes for charity with a 130-mile night bike ride. Last week, staff from Logistics UK, formerly known as the Freight Transport Association, traveled from its regional office near Leamington Spa via London to its head office at Hermes House in St John’s Road. The five-person team included Ian Wright, Craig Foulkes, Mark Jones, Martin Candish and Ian Dunn from the trade organization, one of the UK’s largest campaigning for the industry that hauls goods by road , rail, sea and air. The group left at 5.30pm on Wednesday before arriving in Tunbridge Wells at 9.00am the following morning.
The charity bike ride raised £2,600 for Logistic UK’s chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, which provides free support to people with cancer and their families. To support the runners, staff at the Tunbridge Wells office organized a Macmillan Coffee morning and virtual bike ride, matching the miles raising £150.00 for the charity. Mr Wright, who organized the trip, said: “It was a very long and tiring night, but the whole team is proud to have had the opportunity to raise funds for such a worthy cause. “The training has been a long process and it’s nice to see all the hard work paying off. The entire team has put in the hours and dedication to bring this project to fruition and we are grateful for the encouragement we have had. Wright said his highlights of the route included traversing at sunset and into the night, passing top illuminated London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge, before traversing at sunrise sunshine to be greeted by colleagues on arrival.
“The team’s dedication to this cause and the support they have received from their colleagues in Tunbridge Wells and Leamington Spa has been incredible,” says Louisa Hollis, HR Business Partner at Logistics UK, “and is a true reflection of the one of our key corporate values - solidarity. Ian and his team have been an inspiration to all of us: hope they rest now and go home!”
“The training was a long process and it’s nice to see all the hard work paying off”
Tunbridge Wells’ own lionesses hope Euro success will inspire more girls to play
Following the England women’s team’s impressive victory at this year’s Euros, a local football club is hoping to develop the game for girls inspired by the new European champions. The Lionesses emerged victorious at Wembley against Germany on Sunday, winning the soccer tournament final 2-1 after extra time. They will remain European international champions until the next Women’s Euro which is due to take place in 2025 with the host country yet to be determined. But Tunbridge Wells-based Foresters FC hope England’s success will inspire a new generation of girls to take up football at youth and grassroots level.
The club, founded in 1982, has 47 teams ranging from under-7s to senior adult teams, but only launched its senior women’s team five years ago. Their women’s teams have been around for nearly 10 years and offer over 140 girls the opportunity to play for teams under 10 to under 18. Club chairman Stuart Newman believes the Lioness’ Euro campaign has boosted the reputation of women’s football. “It is now accepted for girls to play football and women to play football,” he said. “People watch women’s football and we as a club want to encourage them.” The senior women’s team, nicknamed the Fozzies, play in the South East Counties Football League. After a successful season which saw the team reach the league cup semi-finals, Foresters Women will play in the Premier League next season. “The second team plays in the same league, in the second division,” explained Stuart. The latter team was created last August and already has the makings of a “development team”, taking players from true beginners to that B team and second division standard, he said. The introduction of the two senior women’s teams allows the girls to continue playing as they age. “It gives them (the junior players) the natural progression to move into women’s football,” added Stuart. “There are even a few women joining us who played locally many years ago. Many women joined us when they moved to the area and didn’t know anyone. With all of that in place, he said, the only thing missing in juniors is involving new coaches – “especially mums”. He said: “They (the girls) need this figure to look up to. “Everyone needs role models, and we would love to see moms here. This is our challenge. In a mark of what junior girls should expect if they continue in football, he noted that the women’s second team now had a qualified female coach.
The women’s teams had the chance to see the Lionesses in action during a trip to Brighton to watch England beat Norway 8-0 in the group stages of European competition earlier this month. The club are also facilitating the professional development of young players with two players scouted for Brighton & Hove Albion over the past two years, while another girl is set to start with Charlton Athletic’s football club academy. “We are so proud to be able to develop players for the next level,” says Stuart. Foresters FC is a standard charter community club. This accreditation certifies that the club provides a safe and inclusive environment and allows the club to receive funding for equipment and future investments. It also provides player journey support for continued participation. The long-term “next step” is to obtain a long-term lease from the Council to develop the facilities. Foresters FC are a big club – 47 teams in total – but play on several grounds in town. “The main ground is Bayham Sports Ground, and we are currently trying to secure a lease. As soon as we get that we are looking to invest in facilities. that more women who were involved in football return to the game. For those interested, visit the Foresters website: forestersfc.com