Participants in this year’s Horsham Cycle Challenge were rewarded for their efforts at a special prizegiving event last Friday.
Now in its second year the challenge ran for three weeks in June and July with people from more than 42 organisations getting involving, cycling a combined 16,795 miles.
Of the 396 participants 182 were non-cyclists, with 83 getting on their bikes for the first time in more than a year.
The project is part of the Challenge for Change initiative and was commissioned in Horsham by West Sussex County Council.
People taking part in the challenge registered on the website, logged the time and distance they cycled for, and were then encouraged to recruit friends and colleagues to join in.
Prizes were awarded at a special event at Bill’s Restaurant in Market Square last Friday for participation from businesses and organisations, individual prizes to people who encouraged colleagues to get involved, and raffle prizes.
Sharon Frankland, challenge manager for the Horsham Cycle Challenge, said: “It has been a privilege to meet so many cyclists who are always cheerful, positive and ready to smile.
“The challenge has started something in Horsham which has a long way to go, but a route that is wholly positive and could make all of our lives more enjoyable.”
Awards were handed out to organisations with the highest participation in several categories depending on the size of the organisation.
Winners included Trend Engineering, Holy Trinity Playgroup, Job Centre Plus which saw 64 per cent of their staff cycling, Millais School, Trend, and RSA.
Encourager prizes were awarded to Millais’ Dawne Davis and Kathy Gallie-Gasson from Job Centre Plus.
Dawne, PA to the headteacher at Millais, encouraged 39 people to join the cycle challenge over the three week-period, and attended the prize giving event with Howard Hoare, Millais’ director of e-learning.
Support staff and teachers have enthusiastically taken up the challenge, and next year they hoped to increase the numbers taking part from 55 to more than 70.
Dawne said: “It needs an event to give people a focus. Some people are naturally competitive when they have been recording their mileage.”
Howard added: “We have built on the success of last year and it has had a real on-going effect.”
Sharon thanked Slinfold Golf and Country Club, Southwater Cycles, Dark Star Brewery, Southwater Sports, Horsham Enoteca, Broadbridge Heath Leisure, Beales, and The Capitol Theatre for donating prizes this year.
This year many of the town’s schools took part including Millais, Forest, Tanbridge House School, Farlington, and the College of Richard Collyer.
The challenge team offered breakfast vouchers on several mornings as treats for people cycling, and held several events at Horsham Park, supplying bikes, refreshments, and support to new cyclists.
For more information visit www.lovetoride.net/horsham