Riders get in the saddle for Oakley charity

READY TO RIDE Lorraine Waterman, who set up the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation after her son Oakley died from leukaemia, leads a group of friends and supporters in a 100-mile bike ride from Gosport to raise money for the charity. Picture: Ian Hargeaves  (13841-2)
READY TO RIDE Lorraine Waterman, who set up the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation after her son Oakley died from leukaemia, leads a group of friends and supporters in a 100-mile bike ride from Gosport to raise money for the charity. Picture: Ian Hargeaves (13841-2)
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MORE than 30 women will ride 100 miles to raise cash for a charity working in the memory of a boy who died from a rare cancer.

The women, from Gosport and the surrounding area, will cycle from Gosport Borough Football Club’s Privett Park ground on Friday, April 12 to Worthing before returning the next day.

But the hard work will be worth it as the women-only ride aims to raise £10,000 for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation.

It is named after six-year-old Oakley Waterman who died in 2005 after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma.

The foundation is run by Oakley’s mum and dad Lorraine and David.

And Lorraine will lead the pack on the two days of intense cycling.

Martina Heath, of Gosport, joined the group this year.

Her cousin’s daughter has stayed in one of the caravans so she wanted to help out.

She said: ‘We did about 18 miles on Monday, which was really tough in the wind.

‘We’re hoping it’s going to warm up and hopefully anything that happens it doesn’t matter then because you can go through it.

‘We’re going out quite regularly now, which is good.

‘With the adrenaline and with cheering everyone on, I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.

‘It’s going to be the backsides on the seat, to be honest.’

The foundation offers respite to terminally-ill children and their families with a caravan in Pagham near Chichester and one in Devon.

It was set up after Oakley and his parents had a holiday in a caravan in Chichester and Oakley announced he wanted them to get a caravan to help children and families in similar situations.

It costs £20,000 a year to run the two caravans, and the Gosport bicycle ladies want to help fund this.

The group have raised more than £1,400 so far and hope to raise more on their donation page justgiving.com/teams/OakleysGirls.