- His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex visits Heathrow as airport celebrates DofE partnership, with cyclists taking part in the third annual Race the Plane challenge
- The challenge sees over 400 cyclists from the airport race a United flight from Heathrow, to New York, raising money for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity
- United flight, UA883, flying from Heathrow Terminal 2 to Newark Liberty Airport in New York departed at 7:55am giving the cyclists 8 hours to beat the transatlantic flight
- His Royal Highness also met with DofE volunteers, viewed the DofE gallery installation and was shown the DofE mosaic
LONDON, 19-Oct-2018 — /EuropaWire/ — His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex was on hand to cheer on over 400 Heathrow colleagues and partners cycling to beat a United jet as it makes its way across the Atlantic to New York in the airport’s annual Race the Plane charity challenge. The challenge, now in its third year, aims to raise over £100,000 for the DofE charity.
The cyclists will collectively need to beat the plane’s cruising speed of 530mph to win their race against the Boeing 767-400ER as it makes its way from Heathrow’s Terminal 2 to Newark Liberty Airport in New York.
During the eight-hour challenge, 28 teams made up of 15 cyclists will have 30 minutes to cycle as quickly as they can on stationary watt bikes under the iconic Slipstream in Terminal 2 to cover distance more quickly than the plane.
Last year’s Race the Plane charity challenge saw 350 cyclists beat Air Canada flight AC869 from London Heathrow to Toronto Pearson Airport raising £100,000 for charity.
In addition to viewing the Race the Plane challenge, HRH The Earl of Wessex was also shown several other DofE activities throughout the airport including a DofE history gallery showcasing the history of the Heathrow and DofE partnership, where volunteers had the opportunity to discuss their involvement with the charity. His Royal Highness then had an opportunity to see a DofE mosaic as it is was being completed, before it is permanently displayed in the airport.
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:
“We’re proud to host His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex as our colleagues compete in Heathrow’s third annual Race the Plane charity challenge, raising money for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Heathrow is committed to working with the DofE to help more local young people learn new skills and we look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with this charity.”
Bob Schumacher, United’s Managing Director UK and Ireland, said:
“It is great that over 400 participants are racing United flight UA883 from London Heathrow to New York/Newark, with the aim of raising over £100,000 for charity. Underpinning our commitment to inclusion, today’s race also marks the launch of our partnership with Special Olympics GB which sees SOGB athletes along with United employees taking part in the event. Let the race begin!”
Note to Editors:
Heathrow is Europe’s largest airport and one of the world’s top international aviation hubs. As the UK’s global gateway, Heathrow welcomes more than 78 million passengers every year. The airport is home to more than 80 airlines and is Britain’s largest cargo port, helping to drive British trade growth by connecting the nation to more than 200 destinations around the world. Heathrow is currently ranked by passengers as the ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’ for the third year running and the ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ for eight years in a row. Terminal 2 also holds the title of the ‘World’s Best Airport Terminal’ and is the Heathrow’s most sustainable, now powered by 100% renewable gas and electricity.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award notes to editors – figures correct as of 2017/18 stats
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is the world’s leading youth achievement award that is currently helping 430,000 young people to develop for life and work in the UK. In 2017/2018, over 275,000 young people started a DofE programme, including over 60,000 from disadvantaged backgrounds. Founded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, the DofE is currently being delivered in 10,014 DofE centres such as schools, youth clubs and prisons, supported by over 3,000 partner organisations and approximately 40,000 adult volunteers.
In total, over six million people have participated in DofE programmes in the UK and achieved over 2.8 million Awards since 1956. In 2017/2018, 142,961 achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The DofE is supported by UK employers including Amey, St James’s Place, Tarmac, British Gas, DFS, Heathrow and RSM who endorse the skills and attributes developed whilst doing a DofE programme such as resilience, commitment, self-motivation and team working.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a Registered Charity No 1072490 and in Scotland No SC038254 and a Royal Charter Corporation RC000806
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation is a Registered Charity in England and Wales, No 1072453. There are more than one million young people currently participating globally in more than 140 countries and territories.
For more information about the DofE, go to DofE.org.
SOURCE: Heathrow Airport Limited