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The Champion Group

Super cyclists are awesome charity champions

Super cyclists are awesome charity champions

WHEN the going gets tough, the tough get going – and that’s exactly what a team of super cyclists did as they braved the elements for a massive charity challenge.


The Champion Group, based in Wella Road, Basingstoke, have chosen to    support Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance (HIOWAA) as their charity of the year, and the community-focused company is bidding to raise as much money as possible in 2023.


On August 18, a team of six cyclists – Jon Bird, Adam Chandler, Ian Dobson, Lionel Eales, Simon Hall and Dan Hare – pedalled through torrential rain as they took on a 150-mile plus route from Champion House headquarters to Portsmouth, cycling across a wet and windy Isle of Wight, before returning to Lymington for the trek home to the finish line at Basingstoke Rugby Football Club, in Pack Lane.


A highlight of the epic ride was a stop off at the HIOWAA headquarters at Thruxton, where the riders and support crews met some of the team who work for the life-saving air ambulance charity.


Wellwishers cheered the cyclists, who were joined by personal trainer and support crew member Ryan Chandler for the last leg of the journey, as they arrived at the finish line just before 7pm – 15 hours after they had set off before dawn.

What a great team effort, This has been an incredible challenge from start to finish, and we are delighted to have overcome the elements and to have raised more than our £10,000 target for HIOWAA
Adam Chandler
Champion Homes Contract Manager

The Champion Group and cyclists appealed to local firms to sponsor the riders by paying for company logos to go on the riders’ shirts – and the response was amazing. 

Thanks to the 20-plus local companies that have sponsored the riders – each pledging at least £200 of sponsorship support. A particular shout out go to the team from sponsor Strukta who stepped in at the last minute to provide an additional support team on the day
Kevin Croombs
Champion Group, Group Accountant

Jill McDonagh, supporter engagement manager at HIOWAA, was among the welcome party, and she thanked the cyclists for their amazing support.

On average, it costs £15,000 a day to keep the air ambulance flying, so the amazing amount raised through this fundraising feat could be life saving for the patients who so desperately need our help
Jill McDonagh
HIOWAA, Supporter Enagement Manager

The fundraising total, with gift aid, currently stands at £11,997.25 and there is still time to donate to the riders, individually or collectively, at – and this is where you can also see the full list of all the companies who have provided crucial sponsorship support to the riders.

To find out more about the amazing work that is done by HIOWAA, go to

The start of the challenge – (left to right) Dan Hare, Ian Dobson, Adam        Chandler, Simon Hall, Jon Bird and Lionel Eales with the HIOWAA banner outside Champion House before the ride started at 3.45am