Monday, April 15, 2024

James Willstrop leads mammoth bike challenge

Squash star’s family attempt mammoth cycle challenge

The Lesley Willstrop squash doubles tournament, which has raised close to £25,000 for various charities, will take place for the fourth time in September 2011, and in addition to this year’s event Lesley’s three sons will be attempting an epic challenge of cycling coast to coast.

World no 4 squash player James Willstrop, England Squash & Racketball Coach David Campion and Lee Campion will be riding together from Whitehaven to Sunderland, setting a target of 50 miles of undulating terrain on each of three days.

They will be raising money for two charities based in Yorkshire, Candlelighters, who support children with cancer in Leeds, and ‘HER breast friend’, a Hull based charity who support women in dealing with breast cancer.

The three brothers will be backed by the former World women’s champion, Vanessa Atkinson, a keen mountain biking enthusiast, Sarah Kippax the World No.18 and a ten man support group of friends from the Queens Sports Club and Pontefract clubs in Yorkshire.

Willstrop looking ahead to the event, scheduled to run from May 30th to June 1st says: “We know that 50 miles a day doesn’t sound much, but even though my livelihood depends on a certain level of athleticism, I am under no illusions: cycling is a far different stress than squash. The saddle soreness for a start will be excruciating for someone who rarely cycles! The whole team will have to train very hard for this, and the non athletes will need a lot of encouragement. I am pleased to have a long summer with few squash events, allowing me the time to have a go at this.”

David, who has been the driving force in adding the bike ride to the fund-raising activities also added that they had been keen to raise money for worthwhile local institutions: “We are thrilled to be going for this in honour of these two fantastic charities, as well as in mum’s honour. It means a lot to us to have a direct impact at a local level as opposed to the mainstream agencies. We have been in touch with both charities, and we hope to build a relationship with them.”

Oldest brother Lee, who has been instrumental in gaining some solid financial support already is proud of the legacy they have built for Lesley: “We know how difficult it is for cancer patients and their families, and we are so pleased such good things can come from our mum’s death to ovarian cancer in 2000.”


The public have a chance to get behind the team and their efforts; should anyone wish to contribute online, please visit:

All other donations can be made by contacting quoting ‘Lesley Willstrop memorial’.


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