Ex-footballers to cycle round golf equipment ‘to point out crimson card to human trafficking’

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ormer footballers are set to don their lycra for a biking problem round soccer golf equipment to point out a “crimson card” to human trafficking.

Dave Hodgson, Steve Vickers and Neil Maddison are to trip to 5 golf equipment within the North EastNewcastle United, Sunderland, Hartlepool United, Middlesbrough and Darlington – on August 19, the United Nations’ World Humanitarian Day.

They are going to be joined by a bunch of 20 cyclists, together with Gordon Miller, who organised the occasion to fundraise for his neighborhood curiosity firm Experience For Freedom’s “freewheel programme”, which empowers survivors of recent slavery to cycle to help their bodily and psychological well being.

(Left to proper) Hodgson, Maddison, Vickers (Gordon Miller/PA)

Mr Miller, from London, instructed the PA information company that Mr Hodgson obtained in contact with him to say “how impressed he was with Experience For Freedom’s imaginative and prescient and requested if he may help a trip within the North East”.

“We chatted it via and he supplied to strategy the 5 skilled soccer golf equipment within the area and invite a number of former footballers to take part within the trip.”

Mr Miller stated that by biking to golf equipment which have a “big public profile and fan base, we’re elevating consciousness of the difficulty with a lot of folks as effectively the golf equipment themselves”.

Trendy slavery is all too current in our communities – and is a matter that impacts soccer – and I stand behind Gordon and Experience For Freedom of their mission to harness biking to lift consciousness of it in addition to to help survivors to cycle via their freewheel programme

He stated: “Our cycle between the skilled North East soccer golf equipment ‘reveals a crimson card’ to this crime.”

He added that the trip reinforces his firm’s Present A Purple Card marketing campaign, which focuses on human trafficking in soccer. A complete of 15,000 victims are trafficked yearly within the identify of soccer in Europe alone, in response to the 2020 Trafficking In Individuals report.

Mr Hodgson has a private connection to Darlington as he managed the soccer membership in three spells over a decade from 1995-2006 and stated he’s “delighted” to help the trip.

Gordon Miller organised the cycle across the soccer golf equipment (James Aubry/PA)

“Trendy slavery is all too current in our communities – and is a matter that impacts soccer – and I stand behind Gordon and Experience For Freedom of their mission to harness biking to lift consciousness of it in addition to to help survivors to cycle via their freewheel programme,” he stated.

He additionally performed for Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Norwich Metropolis, Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday over the course of his soccer profession.

Mr Maddison, an ex-Middlesbrough participant, stated “soccer golf equipment can play a giant position to finish trafficking” and the bike trip is a “nice strategy to get the message on the market”.

Gordon Miller biking (James Aubry/PA)

Mr Vickers, additionally a former Middlesbrough participant, added: “I’m actually happy to hitch this bike trip to help Experience For Freedom’s ‘Present A Purple Card’ marketing campaign to focus on what’s occurring.”

Mr Miller is not any stranger to taking over adventurous cycles, having achieved two Guinness World Data.

His first occurred in October 2020, for the “largest GPS drawing by bicycle (particular person)” when he cycled 620.5 miles round England to spell out “Finish Trendy Slavery”, and his second in October 2021 was for the “best distance coated by an electrical bicycle in a single week”, when he cycled 1,060 miles throughout the size of Spain.

Gordon Miller (center) with cyclists from his neighborhood curiosity firm (James Aubry/PA)

To date this yr, round a dozen survivors of recent slavery have been given donated bikes and equipment to make use of by the neighborhood curiosity firm, in addition to highway consciousness coaching through the Authorities-accredited Bikeability scheme, with one attendee saying she “learnt loads and I really feel rather more assured now and my biking abilities have additionally improved”.


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