WOKING and Chertsey-based practice SIDI Physio will keep the wheels turning for a group of rugby legends next weekend, as they embark on a 200-mile cycle ride in aid of Walking With The Wounded; a charity that helps to retrain and re-skill our wounded troops.
The Waterloo 200 Ride of the Lions will span two days, as an illustrious group of 16 ex British Lions, four wounded soldiers and more than 100 members of the public travel from Waterloo to Belgium and back to London to mark the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
Their gruelling route will mirror that taken by Major Percy in 1815, when he was tasked by the Duke of Wellington to deliver the Prince Regent a notice of victory back from the battlefield.
The 2015 touring party consists of some of the greatest players to ever play the sport, including 2003 World Cup winner Martin Johnson, but even these proud icons of the game will not hesitate to admit they are no longer at the peak of their athletic powers and the ride is sure to be a tough challenge for them all.
With this, SIDI Physio may well be working overtime to keep the guys out on the road, but it’s safe to say that the Lions will be in good hands. SIDI Physio’s lead physiotherapist is Paul Sidi, himself an ex Harlequins and England player, and his team will be accompanying the tour for the second year running.
They will be working tirelessly to provide essential treatment clinics for all the riders before, during and after the event.
And Paul knows full well he won’t be able to treat this foreign excursion like a holiday.
He said: “For the medical and physiotherapy team, it is hard work. More than 100 miles a day takes its toll and, from past experience, we’ll be working into the small hours putting several broken bodies back together!” Alongside Martin Johnson, the star-studded line-up includes a host of other rugby luminaries.
Roger Uttley OBE and Peter Winterbottom of England, Paul Wallace of Ireland, Craig Chalmers of Scotland and Daffyd James of Wales are just some of the other giants of rugby that will be taking part in the event.
In addition to the array of porting talent, a touch of glamour will be also be added to proceedings with supermodel Jodie Kidd set to join them for the second day.
ROTL ambassador and former British Lion, Sir Ian McGeechan, spoke of his huge excitement for the upcoming tour, saying: “It will be quite some spectacle to see 200 riders in Lions red with so many rugby legends taking part.”
It certainly will be, so let’s hope they get home in one piece! This year’s ROTL has already raised over £16,000.
TO FIND out more or to donate visit www.rideofthelions.co.uk or walkingwiththewounded.org.uk. For further details contact SIDI PHYSIO on 01932 566 893, visit www.sidi-physio.co.uk or on Twitter @sidiphysio. SIDI PHYSIO are also on Facebook – www.facebook.com/sidiphysio