Former York RL player Craig Forsyth is taking part in an epic world record static bike challenge to raise money for Rugby League Cares and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The 49 year old joins 24 other rugby players as they endure 30 long and painful hours of pedalling in the Rugby League Spectacular. Forsyth played 133 times in total in three spells with his hometown team York, including 55 games for the Knights before hanging up his boots in 2006. He has gone on to participate in a number of gruelling charity feats such as Marathons, Iron Man Triathlons and even a round the world Yatch race, and will row solo across the Atlantic for the Sporting Chance foundation in January 2021 (details on that to follow in due course!).
Commenting on this particular challenge, Forsyth said: “Why am I taking part in this? My usual answer: Why not? Opportunities often present themselves and it’s a choice we make as to which ones we take. I’ve chosen to take this opportunity. It helps a fair bit when someone else is doing the organising. So when I saw Josh Taylor’s Twitter post about what him and a few others were doing I offered to join in.
“The aim is to set a record for the longest duration of group riders on static bikes. I think the record is 28 hours at present. That was with the group all in one room - obviously with current times that’s not possible - so we’re using the Zwift cycling app and Zoom online video chat which will hopefully qualify to setting a new record when we hit 30 hours.
“Plus it gives me a focus away from the rowing machine that seems to have become like a growth on my backside for the last 18months… Haha!
“Raising money for the MNDA Charity while taking part it’s an added incentive to keep going. I’ll never forget the emotion I felt when I heard the news about Rob Burrow. The shockwave that it sent across the rugby league family was enormous. And for all the joy he supplied when I watched him play, there was no reason not to take part.
“We’ll be doing the world record attempt for another cause that is close to my heart, Rugby League Cares. The independent charity has been supporting Rob and hundreds of other current and former players through their journey in the sport.”
Who are RL Cares?
Most Rugby League players will face injury in their career. This is an uncertain time for a player, which can create anxiety and if the injury is serious can lead to depression and stress. Having someone to talk to is the best way to deal with it, especially if the person you are speaking to has been through something similar and can relate to your problems.
RL Cares provides that support to every player at all levels of the professional game. They recruit former players as mentors who are fully trained and supported by the charity to meet players and help them in times of crisis and anxiety.
RL Cares also helps players prepare for the hardest challenge they will face – leaving the sport at the end of their playing careers. Transitioning isn’t just a change of job, it is a change of life.
Who are Motor Neurone Disease Association?
MNDA are a membership organisation with over 10,000 members forming a powerful national and local network that provides information and support.
Their mission is to improve care and support for people with MND, their families and carers. Money raised by the charity goes to fund and promote research that leads to new understanding and treatments, and brings us closer to a cure for MND.
MNDA are the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on improving access to care, research and campaigning for those people living with or affected by MND.