A FORMER motorbike racing champion has joined hundreds of bikers on Easter Sunday for a charity ride and egg run before visiting sick children in hospital.
James Toseland, the two-time world Superbike champion, visited children’s wards at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, kitted out in his pink-striped racing suit.
During the “Easter Egg Run”, Toseland, who is patron of The Children’s Hospital Charity, was joined by hundreds of fellow bikers, many in fancy dress, who were on hand to deliver Easter eggs to the young patients staying at the hospital.
Toseland is one of just two men to have become world number one with two different racing teams, after winning the World Superbike Championship with Ducati in 2004 and Honda in 2007.
One of Toseland’s surprise visits was paid to eight-year-old Scarlett, who is currently undergoing treatment for Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer.
“It was really fun to see all the bikes going past and see all the people dressed up,” Scarlett said.
“James was really kind and brought me an Easter egg and two for my brothers, who are visiting today.”
Her father said that the visit had been “really good fun”, adding that it was good to see “something out of the ordinary” bringing a smile to the children’s faces.
Speaking during the visit, Toseland said it was a pleasure to be spending Easter welcoming bikers to Sheffield.
“Thanks to them and the generous supporters across the region, I have been able to deliver Easter eggs to children staying in hospital and help brighten their stay,” he said.
This year’s Egg Run is expected to raise more than £5,000 for the charity, which will go towards funding a new “Make it Better” hospital wing.
Plans are under way to create a spacious new outpatient department, three wards with mostly private rooms, landscaped outdoor areas and space for children to play.
Keven Ludlam, from the Three Shires Honda Owners Club, who organised the event, said: “We’re proud to support Sheffield Children’s Hospital through the Egg Run.
“It’s always great to see so many bikers at Weston Park - it really draws a crowd and the children love to see the bikes as they roar into the park.”
The Children’s Hospital Charity’s events fundraiser, Tonya Kennedy, said that organisers were “overwhelmed” by the generosity of supporters who donate to the cause every year.
“It really helps to make the hospital feel better and bring cheer to those too poorly to go home,” she said.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital is one of four stand-alone specialist children’s hospitals in the UK, providing world-class care to children across Yorkshire.