The message hit Niclas Axelsson like a ton of bricks and truly pulled on his heart strings. In 2017 he was comfortably sitting on his couch watching TV when an infomercial came on depicting four chairs with children sitting on them but the fourth chair was empty.
This is because out of every four children who are diagnosed with cancer, only three survive. The sender was The Children’s Cancer Foundation and Niclas’ decision was instantaneous. “I thought, this simply cannot be. I decided there and then that I must try to make a difference,” Niclas tells us. Niclas went online and did some research, found Team Rynkeby, and shortly after decided to take action and join them. Marco is proud to be one of Team Rynkeby’s sponsors, playing a small part in their fight against childhood cancer.
Cycling for Good Health and a Good Cause
The idea for Team Rynkeby was formed in 2001 and already in 2002 it became reality. Knud Vilstrup was the one who started the initiative and it was actually not a charity project from the start. He wanted to improve his own health, as he had just been diagnosed with KOL, and the idea was to find a way to combine his efforts with an unforgettable experience.
The idea that came to him was to cycle to Paris to watch the final Tour de France stage at Champs-Élysées. To make it a reality he asked the current technical director at Rynkeby Foods, Torben Møller-Larsen, if they would sponsor him with juice for the ride.
After a few attempts he convinced Torben to sponsor him not only with their delicious juice but also 70 900 DKK to get the project started, the only requirement was that there had to be at least ten riders. Long story short, all the pieces fell into place, and once the long and challenging ride was completed in 2002, they had made 53 900 DKK in profit and Team Rynkeby decided to donate the money to the pediatric oncology wing at Odense University Hospital. The project was a success and has grown every year since and is still ongoing, combining good health initiatives and charity.
Almost Anyone Can Do It
A common misconception is that you need to be an athlete to participate and be part of Team Rynkeby, Niclas explains. “Everyone can join. When I applied, I myself was slightly overweight and had bad knees, but if you follow Team Rynkeby’s training plan, I will say that most people can handle the cycling to Paris,” he adds.
Another misconception is that the money Team Rynkeby receives from companies that choose to support Team Rynkeby goes to finance the cycling to Paris, which is completely wrong. Everyone who is part of Team Rynkeby pays for all their own expenses (bike, hotel, food, training camp, etc.).
A cyclist has costs of approx. SEK 35,000 the first year in Team Rynkeby. “The whole idea is that everything should go towards fighting childhood cancer so participants carry their own costs. A small price to pay for being part of such a wonderful experience and creating friendships for life,” according to Niclas.
An Incredible Journey
In just about twenty years Team Rynkeby has grown into something truly spectacular and this year, just in Sweden, 35 million SEK was raised and donated to The Children’s Cancer Foundation. “Every sponsor is worth their weight in gold, without them it would not be possible to keep doing this,” Niclas says.
When Niclas joined Team Rynkeby in 2017 three out of every four children survived childhood cancer and now four out of five children survive. “It feels incredible to see things get better but we won’t stop until every child survives,” he adds.
So, until then, you can count on seeing Team Rynkeby out on the roads fighting for those who cannot, riding for change and for a better world without childhood cancer.
Hymo is a proud sponsor of Team Rynkeby.
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