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On Sunday 19 September Shelley Halsey from Winslow, Buckinghamshire took part in her very first Tour de Vale, on a trike! Supported by her friends from Aylesbury CTC Shelley set her sights on the 70km route and continued to train hard during the summer in preparation for the big day.
"Determination knows no bounds with Shelley and we're sure she'll power on through the 70km. She has trained tirelessly ever since the ride was mentioned to her and she hopes to raise as much as she can for WheelPower." (Jane, Shelley's Mum)
In 2007 and aged just 23 Shelley was involved in a serious car crash, suffering a traumatic brain injury that affects her speech and mobility. She now lives in Winslow with her mum where they run a beautiful nursery and tea room on the edge of the town. Whilst serving in the tea room Shelley came in contact with lots of cyclists and local clubs who regularly stopped by whilst out on their weekly rides. With the support and encouragement Shelley began riding alongside the group from Aylesbury CTC and in 2009 took on the Super Hero Triathlon alongside friend Peter. She did amazingly well, not only completing the challenge with a smile, but also in raising over £1000 for the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People.
The 2021 Tour de Vale
Ever since the MKFM Tour de Vale was mentioned to her by members of the cycling club Shelley was quick to sign up and the date was marked in the calendar! Training had been going very well and she arrived at a very wet Stoke Mandeville Stadium ready to go and full of excitement despite the unfavourable weather conditions.
Supported by her team mates she set off around the famous track and out in to the Buckinghamshire countryside.
“I found my first Tour de Vale experience tough but I’m pleased to say that I made it! Even when I was tired and sweating so much! With my team mates Peter and Jeremy it was very enjoyable because they were keeping me on the ball and reminding me how well I was doing for the cause! Peter was very good at reminding me how good I was doing and what I should be doing. The teamwork was what I enjoyed the most and how fast I could go without leaving them behind, which happened twice!”
Shelley completed the 70km Tour de Vale in 5 hours 43 minutes and whilst on route she was cheered on by fellow riders and the marshals who were inspired to see her pedaling hard. One person was volunteer marshal Stuart who said, “I was out marshaling today, I could not help but be inspired by Shelley. Thank you for choosing to do the TDV and I wish you all the best for any future rides you do and hope to see you next year.”
Shelley wanted to support WheelPower by cycling in the event but she was also keen to raise as much money for the charity as possible. Through the generosity of her friends, family and customers at the nursery/cafe in Winslow she has raised a total of £2,602 which is absolutely fantastic. The money raised by Shelley will continue to support disabled people across the UK to lead healthier and more active lifestyles as the charity looks ahead to the return of sporting events and regional festivals in 2022.
“I can’t really express how grateful I am to the people who sponsored me and their encouraging words. ‘Go get them tiger’ are some of those words that stayed in my mind! Thank you again to everyone who supported the cause. I really enjoyed the challenge and watch this space for the next one! Special thanks to Peter and Jeremy for their belief and continued support in me.”
“After the ride the sponsorship just kept coming in and in addition to the Just Giving page we have raised a further £1160 in cash. Shelley has raised in excess of £2600 all told. I’m so proud of her!” (Jane, Shelley’s Mum)
Top Individual Fundraiser Winner
Following Shelley's amazing achievement and fundraising we were delighted to present her with a well deserved trophy for the 2021 Tour de Vale's Top Individual Fundraiser. Our Marketing Officer Matthew French visited Shelley at the Lakers Nursery in Winslow earlier this year to say thank you to Shelley, her family and all of their customers who so generously supported her cycling challenge.
"Riding the 70km Tour de Vale route on a tri-cycle was a fantastic achievement and really showed Shelley's charachter to the fullest. Her determination, hard work and dedication to training set her up for the event and on top of that she also raised an incredible amount of money for WheelPower, which we are eternally grateful for. After a tough few years these vital funds will make even more of a difference to disabled lives, and the return of in-person sporting opportunities which the charity is most well known for. Thank you Shelley for all your support, and maybe we will see you back at Stoke Mandeville Stadium in 2022?" Matthew French, WheelPower Marketing & Communications Officer
If you have been inspired by Shelley’s cycling challenge and wanted to take on your own challenge for WheelPower then please get in touch with the fundraising team email@example.com
Visit www.tourdevale.com to find out how to sign up for this year's event on Sunday 12 June 2022