Magic Weekend: Tour de Toon

6 Jul 2022

Magic Weekend: Tour de Toon

Rugby League is all about community - and Magic Weekend amplifies that. Whether it's fans from different clubs mixing with one another across the weekend, the opportunity to showcase the awe-inspiring Learning Disability Super League or the variety of fundraising efforts that take place across the event - there's plenty to cheer about.

 

Warrington Wolves Foundation have utilised Magic Weekend as a central part of their fundraising efforts for the past several years. On Friday, a group of cyclists – led by the Foundations health and wellbeing manager James Howes – will embark on another bike ride from their base at the Halliwell Jones Stadium to St James’ Park, in a bid to raise funds to support the various community projects the Foundation delivers.

The 20 riders – some of which have never done this type of challenge before – have all come together from various Wolves Foundation projects which include their offload programme, weight management programme - fit to tackle - as well as one of the clubs Physical Disability Rugby League players.

 

The bike ride allows individuals from all walks of life to take on a tough but rewarding challenge - all in the name of charity. It’s a chance to make lasting lifestyle changes as well as raising important funds which will significantly impact the lives of those within the Warrington community.

 

“All the money we raise goes to the foundation,” explains Wolves Foundations James Howes.

 

“As a registered charity, every penny that we can fundraise goes back into those community projects across rugby league, health, wellbeing and inclusion. 

 

“What’s really made me proud this year is that we’ve got representation [on our bike ride] from all those areas of our projects. Whether it’s one of our coaches, a participant, a volunteer or whether it’s a parent of one of the young people that’s involved [in the projects], we’ve made sure that by involving those individuals in a challenge like this, they can showcase and advocate amongst their colleagues, families and friends what we do as a foundation. Because every single pound that we raise, we put back into those projects.”

 

Warrington as a club are also huge advocates and drivers of sustainability – and that includes within their foundation.

 

With over a third of the participants in this year’s challenge brand new to cycling, they are actively encouraging more people to try different and more sustainable methods of transport – a key message that this year’s Magic Weekend aims to reinforce, thanks to the support of Sky Zero. 

 

 

Howes added: “We’re fully behind the sustainability side of things. With our cyclists, when you compare it to going [to Magic Weekend] in the car, our cyclists are going to save over 100 kilograms of carbon just by swapping the car for the bike. 

 

“One of the things we looked at doing – not just with the cycling but with a focus on sustainability as well – we’ve looked at how we can make some of those small changes as individuals. We’re looking for each of the riders to make their own individual pledge to reduce their personal carbon footprint. Some of the guys have told me that they’re going to do meat free Mondays from this point forward and again, that’s another way of them doing their bit to protect the planet for the future. 

 

“We’re also looking at implementing a few things on the bike ride this year, too. We’ve gone completely digital – in the past we used to have paper registration forms, paper folders, paper event plans. But everything we’ve got now has gone digital. There will be no paper involved in any of the admin side of things. And we’re looking at getting at least one of the vehicles that goes with us to be an electric vehicle as well.”

 

 

Rugby League is engrained within its local communities and has the power to change lives through the sport. Foundations across the sport play a huge role in positively impacting the areas in which they operate and often support some of the most vulnerable groups. And much of that isn’t possible without the collective support and generosity of fans and members of the community.

 

“There’s a lot of good will and a lot of support we get from our community. We couldn’t do what we do as a community foundation without the support of the Warrington fans and the wider community as well. We’re hitting elements of our community that maybe haven’t necessarily been touched by rugby league before.

 

“The last two years have been tough for everyone and if we can do a little bit to inspire other people to get more active or to get involved with the foundation as a volunteer, or just talk to other people about how the Wolves has impacted on their lives, then we’ve done what we want to achieve. We want to get people talking about the sport of rugby league and we want to get people involved in the sport of rugby league.

 

“The sport is very, very good at engaging with its communities across the game. I look across all the other foundations from each of the clubs and I firmly believe we have a project that will suit everybody. Regardless of whether you’re into rugby league or not.”

 

James and the team of cyclists will begin their journey from Warrington to Newcastle on Friday morning, aiming to arrive at St James’ Park in time for the Wolves clash with the Dragons on Sunday afternoon. 

 

You can find out more about the Foundations 'Tour de Toon' here.