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Will Gets on His Bike for Charity

Posted 27 July 2004

Ten days, ten countries, 1,000 miles: those are the statistics Harper Adams student William Hobby will be clocking up this autumn on a charity cycle ride in memory of his best friend.

Will Hobby
Will Hobby. Cycling for charity.
Will, a first year student at the Newport-based university college, is taking on the mammoth bike ride to raise money for the Mattdotcom charity, which provides IT equipment for teenagers in hospital, to help them continue their education. The charity was set up by the parents of Will’s best friend, 19-year-old Matthew Harding-Price, who sadly died in March 2004, after losing a three-year battle with bone marrow cancer.

Now Will, who took over from Matthew as president of the charity, is hoping to raise at least £5,000 when he sets off around Europe with his friend, and fellow Mattdotcom committee member, Alisdair Grant.

Starting on September 9, the pair will visit a new country each day, cycling 100 miles in England, Wales, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and France. Docking in Hull at the end of their journey, the pair will be met by friends and family, who will cycle back with them to their home town of Lincoln.

Fitness shouldn’t be a problem for 20-year-old Will, who last year walked 100 miles in 100 hours non-stop for the charity, but he admits he is no professional cyclist. “We’re both novices, we can’t cycle to save our lives really, so we’re looking at a busy summer in the gym, biking to work each day and in our lunchtimes too, but we’re determined to succeed.”

The student said Matthew, who travelled to Dublin on behalf of the charity shortly before his death, was an inspiration. He echoed his words at Matthew’s funeral, when he said: “He was the bravest person I know, with more courage and determination than I could ever hope for. Not once in his 3½-year battle, did I see any sign of him quitting. Not once in 3½ years did he let his illness stop him doing something. At times he had only months to live yet he planned for events 12 months down the line. His trip to Dublin eight days before he died showed his determination against all the odds.”

To sponsor Will visit the website Mattdotcom.org.uk, call or call him on 07734 772398. If you would like to raise money yourself or have fundraising ideas call Jenny Hyman, c/o MATTDOTCOM, 47, Bunkers Hill, Lincoln, LN2 4QS, 01522 874738.

Ends

Note to Editors

Mattdotcom is the brainchild of Sharon and David Harding-Price who, after their teenage son Matthew was admitted to hospital in 2000 with cancer, became aware that when teenagers go into hospital it becomes very difficult for them to continue with their education.

They say: “Most hospital schools only have a couple of laptop computers and these tend to be taken back into school at the end of the day, resulting in teenagers not being able to work in the evenings or use the computer for entertainment. Also as teenagers move into GCSEs and A-levels it becomes harder for them to access the programmes and machines for long periods so as to complete project work.” Mattdotcom’s mission statement is to provide teenagers, suffering from long term or life threatning illness, with access to computer technology thereby enabling them to continue their education and maintain contact with their school, so as to continue to develop key life skills and help them in coping with their illness be that in hospital or at home. Will Hobby became the second President in March 2004, after Matthew’s death. Alisdair Grant became Vice-President in April 2004.

Mattdotcom is a registered charity (Registered Charity No 1099037)

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