Two former Wigan rugby league players are taking on a tough new challenge, as they cycle off-road from Media City in Manchester to Wembley Stadium for a sports charity.
Ex-Wigan Warriors stars Mick Cassidy and Simon Lewis-Pierpoint, the latter of whom also played for Bradford Bulls, will take on the 300-mile ride on Monday, aiming to finish on Friday August 24.
They will be joined by a host of other Super League alumni, including Robbie Hunter-Paul (Bradford Bulls) and Gareth Ellis (Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC), as they raise funds for RL Cares, which supports men in sports with mental health issues.
They are currently warming up for what will be a high-profile challenge which will be covered by SkySports.
Simon, who is now the managing director of Chorley architectural design company StudioSDA, said: “Having only recently started cycling I am now facing the huge challenge of cycling from Media City to Wembley Stadium, which is more than 300 miles of off-road cycling and includes more than 15,000ft of climbing.
“I will have the pleasure of riding with other ex-professional rugby league players and the positive attitude, drive and determination to raise money for the great work that RL Cares does should be enough to see us through.
“Physical and mental strength is something that you are taught as a sports professional while you are playing.
“You can tackle the biggest and toughest of opponents on a field but sometimes life is little more complicated than that.
“RL Cares helps to support people involved at every level of our great sport, from junior clubs to current and former players.
“And it provides support in ways that they need it whether that is practical advice, legal, medical or counselling support.
“I enjoyed a great time while playing rugby and have been fortunate enough to have a great career after hanging up my boots and now I feel it is time to give back something to the sport that has made me the person I am today.
“I have seen at first-hand in my own family the importance of valuing mental health on the same level as physical health.
“And this is why I’m such an avid supporter of RL Cares which focuses on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of players past and present.”
To support Simon, who aims to raise £1,500 visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-lewis-pierpoint or www.justgiving.com/teams/ride2wembley2018