Meet Our Race To The Sun 2022 Participants!

 

We are so excited and grateful to have a great group of cyclists taking part in Race to the Sun 2022.  Here's a little bit more information about some of our team....

Barry Azzopardi

Barry is an Army veteran having served from 1977 until 2016.  He served with both the Queen’s Regiment and the MPGS, and spent some service time in Gibraltar.  Barry now lives in Dartmouth and running his own landscape gardening business.

Barry says;

“I am fortunate to have spent most of my life in the military and been unscathed.  I think it’s important to pay back to those who are not so fortunate.”

“I am looking forward to raising as much awareness as possible for homeless and disadvantaged service personnel, as well as seeing some old friends.”

You can support Barry by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barryazzopardicofundraiserracetothesun

 

Ash Azzopardi

Ash was born in Northern Ireland and spent his early years living in Europe based on his father’s Army postings.  Ash now lives in Surrey with his family and is looking forward to the trip ahead.

Ash says;

“I have chosen to take part because it’s a great cause - nobody deserves to be homeless, least of all those who have put their lives on the line for our country and freedoms. My grandfather, father, brothers and cousin have all been in the army and this is my opportunity to give something back.”

“I am looking forward to spending some time with my dad and brothers, plus the sun and fresh air. The hills not so much!”

You can support Ash by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Ashley-Azzopardi

 

James Azzopardi

Completing the Azzopardi trio, Barry and Ash are joined by son and brother James, who is also a veteran, and now lives in Spain.

You can support James by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NicholasAzzopardiRaceToTheSun

 

Lee Bradley

Lee joined the 1st Battalion The Queens Regiment in 1980 and went straight to jungles of Belize for six months.  Lee left the army after 12 years as a platoon sergeant, and now works for a large IT company.  He lives in a village near Fordingbridge.

Lee says;

“I am active and run a lot, play village cricket and walk my two dogs.  Whilst I am fit, I am not a cyclist, this challenge will take me out of my comfort zone for sure.”

“I looking forward to the challenge and getting across the finish line  as a team, raising as much as we can and seeing the rewards of somebody get a roof above their head.”

You can support Lee by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BrilliantBradders

 

David Perkins

Dave’s Grandfather served in the Royal Hampshire Regiment in WWII, and he says he has deep respect and gratitude for the bravery, commitment and work carried out by our armed services all around the world.  He also has personal empathy with those who have struggled with their mental health. 

Dave says;

“I’ve been through tough mental challenges including depression, which as due to a relationship breakdown.  Looking back, talking, sharing thoughts, exercise as well as routine was paramount to my recovery - not to mention having a roof over my head. If I had not been blessed with this support network then I am not embarrassed to say that my life could have been very, very different... Some are not as fortunate as I.”

“I have a total appreciation and gratitude of the sacrifices our Military men and women have made to provide us with the foundations to live as we do today. I had always wanted to give something back, especially to those who have given so much to our country. Personally, I can’t think of anything more humbling, rewarding and critically important than to help those who have given so much and are suffering as a consequence, in the here and now.”

You can support Dave by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Perkins10

 

Steve Gaskell

Steve joined the Queen Regiment in 1985, and served 28 years.  During Steve’s service he spent time in Gibraltar, providing relief cover for the Royal Gibraltar Regiment as they attended UK training.

Today, Steve works as a high performance business coach and is based in Newton Abbot Devon.

Steve says;

“Being a veteran and having served in many challenging situations and having been a welfare office I know all too well the difficulties veterans can face. It's not easy to adjust from service life, it's not easy to start a new career, and sadly for some, it's not easy to deal with past experiences, so if we can raise awareness then it's a step in the right direction.”

“I’m looking forward to the comradery on the trip ahead and having the opportunity for my son to join us - although he will make me feel very old!     The challenge will be through the mountains - the opportunity to once again face physical challenges which allow reflection for those who we are aiming to help. Not that our difficulties will be nearly similar in challenge.”

You can support Steve by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/steve-gaskell-racing-for-the-sun

 

Quinn Gaskell

Quinn is Steve’s son and they are team up to take on the Race to the Sun.  Quinn works for the Global Triathlon Network and has only taking up cycling seriously in the last year.  He says that being from a military family, Homes for veterans is a cause close to heart.

Quinn says;

“I know that transitioning from the military to civilian life can be stressful at the best of times, so it’s great to be help anyone struggling with that, especially if we can help even one or two veterans off of the streets.”

“I am excited to be visiting Gibraltar for the first time as my dad has told me a lot about it.  I think the ride will be a challenge of mental endurance as well as the daily mileage! I’m not looking forward the climbs, but I guess they will be character building!”

You can support Quinn by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/steve-gaskell-racing-for-the-sun

 

Richard Kendall Tobias

Richard is an Army veteran, and since leaving the Forces has been running three successful businesses from his home near London. 

Richard says;

“It’s a great cause and firmly believe that I was lucky that during my service and after I escaped any form of mental illness, as many do.  I, again, was so lucky in my post army career that I have worked and been relatively successful.  Race to the Sun is about giving back and supporting those that, through no fault of their own may have not been so lucky as I have. 

“I know it’s going to be a huge challenge and I am looking forward to seeing the finish line!  It will also be great to be cycling with like-minded people and see some old(er) faces!  The daily distance will be challenging enough but the hills are where it will really hurt, I don’t expect to be the fastest, but I will be there at the end!”

 

Ken Hames

Ken is our Chief de Course for Race to the Sun and our Chief Operations Officer for Alabaré’s Veterans Self-Build scheme.  Ken enjoyed a long and illustrious career with the Royal Marines, and since has gone on to become a motivational speaker, TV presenter and expedition leader, all alongside his work at Alabaré creating opportunities for veterans to rebuild the lives and gain a home and new career.

Ken says;

“Raising money for our homeless veterans, our veteran cyclists face a stiff test of stamina and endurance over mountains of Andalucía.  This act of courage and care personifies our values in Alabare bringing together a determined team who understand well our reasons for doing it. The challenge is about teamwork and encouragement tackling Category 1 Tour de France type ascents and descents---this is a lot by anybody’s standards, and we salute and wish the team every success with a comfortable saddle!”

You can support Ken and all our cyclists by clicking here https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/racetothesun

 

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