A Cambridge gym team has completed a gruelling 400km challenge in memory of a local boy who died from a brain tumour, raising more than £3,000 for charity.
As part of the ‘Tri for Tom’, the group from F45 gym cycled all the way to Brighton and back, while stopping at other F45 gyms in London along the way and taking part in a number of physical challenges with other employees.
Setting off on 9th May, they arrived in Brighton after the challenging 200km journey, where they swam as far as they could before staying overnight in the area and cycling back to Cambridge the next day.
One of the four team members was Andrew Whiteley, dad of Tom Whiteley who died at the age of nine from a brain tumour in 2010.
The inspirational challenge has seen them raise £3,000 for Tom’s Trust so far, a charity supporting children with mental health care after a brain tumour diagnosis, as well as their families, which Andrew co-founded in 2011 with Tom’s mum Debs. This is enough to support two families following a brain tumour diagnosis for a whole year.
Andrew, who is a member of the gym and lives in Ickleton, said: “When Sarah at F45 said that she wanted to undertake a significant challenge to raise funds for Tom’s Trust and that she wanted me to be involved I had no idea she would come up with this. I hadn’t ridden a bike any distance since I was a kid and Brighton is a very, very long way away! I love a challenge though and like Tom I’m a fighter and never gave up! I can’t believe we did it and want to thank everyone who donated.”
Sarah Craske, Owner of F45, who took on the challenge, had to complete some of her miles by peddling in the gym. She said: “We’re all fit but we don’t cycle so it was a really big challenge for us, but it was a lot of fun too. Andrew is one of our foundation members and a great part of the community. He approached us about bits and bobs for Tom’s Trust and this was our idea about doing something bigger to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the charity. It sounds really cheesy but we have a lot of time for him, he’s a great member, and he really supported us through COVID when it was difficult for businesses. He’s just a really nice guy, we heard about what happened to Tom early on and wanted to do something to help. We’re thrilled to have raised £3,000 so far.”
Also taking up one-quarter of the F45 team was Callum Osborne, F45 Coach. Callum has coached Andrew in F45 classes since the day he joined and, as Andrew’s friend, wanted to support Tom’s Trust with this huge challenge.
The last team member was Simon Harrison, a former money broker and father-of-two from Epping, who decided to join with just weeks to go until the challenge. Simon is Tom’s godfather and a keen cyclist, so this was the perfect challenge for hi to support Tom’s Trust.