News – Success for Out of Saddle Dinner


Dean and Russell Downing’s Out of the Saddle cycling club pushes pedal past £11,000 for cancer charity

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News – Success for Out of Saddle Dinner

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Taking place at the Hellaby Hall Hotel, the event was attended by a number of big names from the world of cycling, including Team Sky rider Ben Swift and local cycling legends Chris Walker and Malcolm Elliott.


Out of the Saddle cycling club, which includes almost 70 riders, was formed over 5 years ago by the Downing brothers to offer cyclists the chance to ride and raise for good causes across the region. The group organise several rides each year in support of local charities and have so far raised over an outstanding £45,000.

On the 1st November, after the annual pre-dinner ride through Braithwell, family and friends from the cycling community came together in their hundreds to join what was one of the most successful evenings yet, raising over an incredible £11,000 to support the vital work of Weston Park Hospital.

Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for the hospital and exists to support the world-class cancer research and to improve the treatment and care for people living with cancer. With a buffet, auction, disco and guest interviews conducted by Tour of Britain’s ‘Man on the Mic’, Joe Fisher, the event was also attended by Chris Walker, Matt Stephens, Scotland’s Commonwealth Games track sprinter, Chris Pritchard and Pete Williams.

The cycling brothers decided to support Weston Park Hospital Charity this year after cycling club member, Jack Stephenson completed a London to Paris ride in September to help raise funds for the hospital where his father received treatment for bowel cancer.

Jack successfully completed the ride, cycling 280 miles in under 24 hours whilst raising over £1,000 for the cancer charity as a thank you for his dads care and treatment.

Jack said, “It’s only when someone close to you is diagnosed with cancer that you become truly thankful that there are places like Weston Park Hospital, offering the people of our region access to the very latest cancer research and treatments.”

“I was incredibly proud to help raise money for the hospitals dedicated charity and even more so to be involved in the Out of the Saddle dinner last weekend. It was a great night and inspiring to see so many people give generously and ultimately improve the lives of those fighting cancer across our region.”

Weston Park Hospital provides treatment and care for those living with cancer in Rotherham, Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster, Worksop and Chesterfield allowing people from across the region to benefit from donations made to the charity.

Downing brothers, Dean and Russ boast an impressive repertoire of cycling achievements, including Deans’ pre- retirement win at the Sheffield Grand Prix in 2013 and Russ’s fourth place for Team England in the Commonwealth Games Road Race.

The pair played host on the night, with Dean even having his leg waxed, a spectacle which was eagerly taken up by his family members who donated generously for the privilege.

Dean said, “This year’s Out of the Saddle night was an amazing evening which raised over £11,000 for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity; an amount which every single guest on the night should be very proud of. Russ and I are extremely proud that we pulled it off on the night and everyone seemed to have a great time.

“We would like to say a huge thank you for the generosity of people on the night, including one guest who bidded on two auction items plus gave a sizeable donation, totaling his overall single contribution to an incredible £1,850!”

“The hospital provides an amazing service for cancer patients across our region and we’re looking forward to doing all we can to continue supporting this vital facility in the future.”

MC, Joe Fisher did an excellent job of auctioning off the evening’s auction lots which included David Millar’s POC helmet worn at the Worlds and signed by all the GB team, Laura Trott’s world champion jersey, prints by Rich Michelson and Al Heighton, a Team Sky jersey signed by the Vuelta team, Chris Hoy’s Worlds skin suit and one of Russ Downing’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games jerseys.

Charity fundraiser, Sarah Cross who represented the charity on the night said, “With the help of friends and family, Dean and Russ organised a great event and we’re incredibly grateful to be the benefiting charity of this years’ fantastic total.”

“It was inspiring to see so many local cycling enthusiasts supporting the cancer charity and enjoying this celebratory evening.”

“Cycling is a great way of raising money to support the work of Weston Park Hospital and year on year our ‘Ride & Raise’ team grows to include cyclists of all abilities who take on challenges of varying routes and difficulties.”

For more information on the work of Out of the Saddle, please visit .

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