Putney resident Alice McWilliam is putting her mental and physical fitness to the test this weekend, in a 24-hour fundraiser for charity Sporting Minds UK.

Alice has been training hard for cycling races since January this year, however with many being cancelled due to the pandemic, she decided to test her training with her own challenge.

The 25-year-old will cycle for 24 hours, starting at 12 noon and finishing 24 hours later, around Richmond park from September 5-6.

The Athlete Manager, at sport sponsorship company Sportskred, said:

“I’m really excited to be undertaking my cycling challenge in support of the fantastic charity, Sporting Minds UK, who promote positive mental health in young athletes. A lot of my friends compete in high performance sport, and I very much know from personal experience, friends and the job I do, that sport is not just a physical battle, it’s a mental battle too.

“What with COVID-19 and the lack of structure, training, competition and seeing friends, a lot of young athletes have come unstuck, and we need to be able to help our up and coming talent by supporting them to develop greater mental strength, as much as their physical strength.”

Alice aims to raise at least £700, which will go towards enabling Sporting Minds UK to continue providing young sportspeople with much needed specialist mental health support.

This comes at a time when the charity has seen a significant increase in athletes reaching out for mental health support.

Callum Lea, the 20-year-old Founder of Sporting Minds UK, said:

“It’s a fact that those with existing mental health conditions are struggling more than usual, while many who have never experienced mental health issues before are experiencing anxieties for the first time. We know this from the sharp rise in calls for support that we have received from young sportspeople over the Spring and Summer.”

“What Alice is doing for us is an incredibly tough challenge, both mentally and physically, so the more support Alice has will be fantastic and very much welcomed.

“Alice’s fundraising will be a brilliant start to our First Anniversary Fundraising Campaign, where we are aiming to raise £10,000 by our first Anniversary, which is on 26th November 2020, to enable us to continue supporting young athletes.

You can support Alice in her fundraising and to make a donation here.