25 Jun 2024

COPA-DATA UK gears up for charity bike ride

COPA DATA Head for Paris

This July, automation software supplier COPA-DATA UK’s Managing Director, Martyn Williams and Energy Director, Garry Forfar, takes on the Head for Paris cycle challenge from London to Paris for charity.

Spanning approximately 350 miles, the cycling challenge will raise awareness of the neurodegenerative diseases from sports injuries, while simultaneously raising money. Donations will fund Head for Change, a charity that supports athletes that have been affected by brain injuries, with all funds going directly to their rugby education programme that is due to launch this year in schools and grassroots rugby.

The charity was founded by four individuals, all whose lives have, in some way, been affected by neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs). One of the founders, Alix Popham, a retired international rugby player, was diagnosed with early onset dementia and probable CTE in 2020. His experience highlights the risks associated with these sports and reinforces the urgent need for research and further understanding. Popham and his wife Melanie are both committed to being part of the solution, along with co-founders, Doctor Judith Gates and Doctor Sally Tucker.

Head for Change is an innovative charitable start-up organisation that leads the way in promoting research for brain health in sports. Its primary focus is on providing crucial support to former athletes from football or rugby backgrounds who are grappling with NDD, and to support their loved ones.

“At COPA-DATA, we are firm believers in donating to charitable causes, whether that be through time, money or energy — or in this case, all three,” added Williams. “Taking on this challenge for a fellow South Wales organisation, and one as inspiring as Head for Change, makes the anticipation for the event even higher. Our goal is to raise £10 000 and will do all that we can to reach this target.”

Head for Change works with esteemed experts in the field of NDD and strive to delve deeper into the complexities surrounding this. By harnessing the power of data, the charity aims to propel its advocacy efforts towards a player-centric approach to safety.

The Repercussion Group, an assemblage of dedicated researchers specialising in neurodegenerative conditions linked to sports, has been established by the esteemed trustees of Head for Change. The group’s primary objective is to lay down the scientific groundwork necessary to adopt an independent and precautionary stance when it comes to studying brain injuries in sports.

Comprising of esteemed scientists, clinicians, and key stakeholders from the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and New Zealand, the Repercussion Group engages in regular dialogue and round table discussions to foster meaningful advancements in our collective understanding.

The Head for Paris ride, scheduled to take place from 19 to 23 of July, will see Williams and Forfar join a dedicated group of cyclists on a journey across stunning landscapes and historic landmarks. Starting from London, they will pedal their way through picturesque countryside and charming towns, before reaching their destination, the city of Paris.

‘’We were inspired and humbled by the stories of some incredible people at Head for Change and wanted to do something to help them make a difference,’’ said Forfar. ‘’A lot of people know someone affected by these conditions and who are suffering, which is why we made the decision to support Head for Change and the work their team is doing to help.’’

Head to COPA-DATA’s fundraising site, posted in collaboration with Head for Change to help support this cause. Check out Head for Change’s website to learn more and get to know the charity.

Company info: COPA-DATA UK