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The mammoth task of planning for this year’s Tour de Sez has been given a huge boost as Guernsey company, First Central Group, has agreed to sponsor the endurance bike ride.

Tour de Sez was established in 2014 in honour of Sarah Groves, who was tragically killed in India in 2013. As with  the inaugural event two years ago, all proceeds from the event will go to the Sarah Groves Foundation – the charity set up by her parents, Vic and Kate Groves, that focuses on using funds to enhance young Guernsey lives by creating better opportunities and experiences for future generations.

First Central Group is renowned for its Guernsey community spirit and this year has focused most of its corporate social responsibility activity on helping the Tour De Sez organisers to attract as many participants and raise as much money as possible.

The company is also fielding three riders on the Tour, including Chairman Ken Acott, Lead Developer Adrian Massey and Quality Assurance Analyst Chris Staples.

Tour organisers Vic Groves, Gary Hooks and Leon Howard are looking to make the second ride bigger and better than the 2014 event, which attracted 50 cyclists and raised £125,000.

Gary Hooks said: “The Tour de Sez embodies Sarah’s own lust for life and is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. In 2016 we will be cycling for 650 miles from St Malo to Bilbao from Saturday 10th to Sunday 18th September.”

The team already has 64 riders signed up and is looking to have at least 75 riders involved. The cyclists will be accompanied by a full support team of medics, mechanics, a masseuse, chefs and carers.

The motto of the Sarah Groves Foundation is ‘Enhancing Young Lives’ and the entire focus of those involved is to raise as much money as possible and assist all those involved to ‘live a life less ordinary’.  All money raised in Guernsey by the Sarah Groves Foundation is spent in Guernsey.

Leon Howard commented: “The more cyclists we have taking part, the more money we can raise for the Sarah Groves Foundation and, in turn, the more the island can benefit from the work of the foundation undertakes.
“Most people think that this is some sort of semi-professional event. It isn’t. The idea is that anyone and everyone is capable of doing this ride and, if the experience of the previous tour is anything to go by, it is life changing for those involved.

“We have had everything from novice riders right through to athletes and we’d like to encourage anyone who wants to sign up to do so. They won’t regret it.”

First Central Group Chairman, Ken Acott, said: “This ride is more than just a fundraising event for us as we take health and wellbeing seriously within our own business. We like to think the aspirations of these cyclists, and of Sarah herself, are reflected in the way the company works together and how we interact with the Guernsey community.

“We will be also organising a number of activities this year to help with fundraising.”

Sarah Groves Foundation managing trustee, Vic Groves, said: “The 2014 event was extraordinary and we are so touched that this Tour is shaping up to be even bigger and better.  Those taking part, and Gary and Leon’s tireless efforts to bring this event together, are remarkable.

“Sarah was a firm believer in living life to the full. The Tour is about friendship, community and challenging self-perception and achieving something great. I would urge anyone interested to sign up to ride and help us raise funds to make a difference to the lives of our young people in the Bailiwick.”

For anyone wishing to take part please contact the organisers through the Facebook page.

Anyone wishing to donate to the Tour de Sez can do so through the JustGiving page.

For all other enquiries please contact Vic Groves on 07781 156743 or