Sir Chris Hoy joins Horsham charity’s black tie ball to raise vital funds

The champions on stage
The champions on stage

Sir Chris Hoy has joined Horsham-based children’s charity Action Medical Research for its annual gala.

The black tie Champions of Cyclesport dinner was held at Battersea Evolution in London last Thursday and welcomed around 600 guests.

A number of elite sports stars were on hand to support Action including former Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth hurdling champion Sally Gunnell OBE.

The Sussex resident was delighted to attend. She said: “This was my first champs dinner and it was an absolute honour to be involved.

“I’m a mum of three and so it was very emotional to see and hear first-hand about Action’s tireless work to help fund vital research for poorly children.

“There are so many brilliant minds out there, driven to better understand and find cures for a whole host of debilitating and life-limiting conditions.

“Action can provide one of the first steps towards turning their theories into a reality.”

Guests enjoyed a champagne reception on arrival before sitting down for a three course meal.

They also had the opportunity to mingle with a host of other sports stars including Dan Martin, Amy Williams MBE and Dani Rowe MBE.

A couple of fundraising auctions were also held throughout the evening with prizes including: a British national road race championships jersey signed by Connor Swift; a custom made Passoni Top Force frameset; a corporate ride out with Nico Roche; and the chance to name an Eddie Stobart truck!

Funds raised from the gala are still being counted but since its launch in 2010, the Champions of Cyclesport dinner has raised more than £1.6m.

Action Medical Research’s senior partnership development manager Sarah Stevenson added: “Tonight’s gala was fantastic and I would like to thank our sponsors and all of our lovely guests for their generous support.

“We always strive to make this an evening to remember for sports enthusiasts as so many of our annual fundraising events involve outdoor physical challenges.

“Sally Gunnell is a legitimate legend in the world of athletics and as a fellow Sussex resident we were so, so pleased that she agreed to join us.”

This year’s Champions of Cyclesport dinner was sponsored by Garmin, Rouleur and Frog bikes.

Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.

The charity is currently funding research into areas including premature birth, epilepsy, asthma, scarlet fever, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and more.

Visit www.action.org.uk for more information.