Parents of Jo Cox ‘absolutely delighted’ with record number of women taking part in Cleckheaton to London bike ride in memory of former Batley and Spen MP
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The ride, now into its eighth year, aims to keep the former MP’s legacy alive by promoting community spirit and supporting causes that were important to her.
31 women, aged from their 20s to their 70s, will take part this year - more than ever before.
Jo’s mum and dad, Jean and Gordon Leadbeater, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that so many people, from so many different backgrounds, are making such an amazing effort to remember Jo. She’d be so pleased that so many women, of all ages, are getting on their bikes. The ride showcases Jo’s values of fairness and respect; there’s no better way of highlighting her belief that we have ‘More in Common’.
“The bike ride gets more popular every year. It’s really important for our family because it shows what an impact Jo had, and still has, on different individuals and communities. We’d like to thank all the organisers, support crews and sponsors, and especially Sarfraz Mian, who came up with the idea of The Jo Cox Way.”
In the UK, three times more men than women are members of cycling clubs. Jo’s sister, Kim Leadbeater MP, who was elected to represent Batley and Spen in 2021 and has been involved in every Jo Cox Way ride, is pleased so many women are getting on their bikes this year. She said:
“Cycling has enormous physical and mental health benefits, and also helps combat loneliness and isolation - causes Jo was passionate about. It isn’t just for middle aged men in lycra - it’s for everyone!
“The Jo Cox Way ride is a great chance to meet and talk to people from different backgrounds, and it’s brilliant that cyclists are joining together yet again to celebrate the fact that we have ‘far more in common than that which divides us’ – as Jo said in her maiden speech in Parliament.”
The Jo Cox Way was started in 2016 by North Yorkshire businessman and keen cyclist Sarfraz Mian BEM, just a few weeks after her murder. Sarfraz said:
“Riders form lasting friendships with people of different ages, from all sorts of backgrounds. The ride is a big challenge but there’s real warmth; nearly half our cyclists will be making the long journey for the first time; and I know our returning riders will help them along. As you’d expect from a ride which starts in Yorkshire, it also offers exceptional quality and value. We’re delighted it sold out in record time this year. I never met Jo, but her determination to create a fairer, kinder world for all really touched me in 2016 and is now more relevant than ever.”
The Jo Cox Way raises funds for The Jo Cox Foundation. Anyone wishing to donate can do so here: www.justgiving.com/campaign/jocoxway2023.