While the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted cancer services and cancer organisations in many countries, the need for life-saving treatments and care remains as acute as ever. The latest estimates indicate that people dying prematurely from cancer has risen to 10 million in 2020 alone.
To raise much-needed funds for the global fight against cancer, UICC has teamed up with Orsen SA, an international sports marketing agency, and with Zwift, a provider of a virtual cycling platform with over two million registered subscribers from 195 countries, to create the World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge that will be hosted on the Zwift platform.
On 4th February, some 60,000 cyclists around the world will be participating in an exciting virtual community bike ride on Zwift to increase awareness about cancer and help prevent millions of people from dying prematurely from the disease.
“Confronted with the unique crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, the inspiring progress that has been made in cancer prevention and treatment is at risk. If we want to see the cancer burden reduced – not increased – in the coming years, we need to act urgently. The World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge is a unique opportunity to bring people on board who want to help us make a difference.”
– Dr Cary Adams, CEO of UICC
At the same time, a number of sporting legends will cycle in a celebrity event and attempt to chase down four-time Olympic Gold medallist Mo Farah, who will be running.
The event will be broadcast worldwide and will include interviews with celebrities as they share their own experiences with cancer. A full list of competing celebrities given below. The list of broadcasters for the World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge will be available as of 1st February on the Solidarity Challenge website. It will also be streamed on the Solidarity Challenge YouTube Channel on 5th February.
The community ride has six different starting times, staggered across time zones from Australasia to the Americas, allowing participants from across the globe to join in. Each ride will be 45 minutes long. Participants will be able to compare their time with that of their favourite celebrity who competed in the celebrity race.
Registration for the World Cancer Day Solidarity Challenge is free, so UICC will be counting on participants’ and the public’s generous donations. All funds will go to UICC in support of the global cancer community. UICC has 1,200 member organisations representing almost every country in the world, and helps them urge their respective governments to take action and ensure that comprehensive cancer programmes and services are a national priority. It also offers international fellowships, training courses, master courses, webinars and a portfolio of online and offline resources on cancer control.
“Solidarity Challenge is Orsen’s plug-and-play solution for charities and foundations that unite communities to raise awareness and donations for humanitarian and environmental causes. We are delighted to partner with Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in support of the global fight against cancer.”
– Sean O’Reilly, CEO, ORSEN SA
• Fabian CANCELLARA – Cycling – 2-time World & Olympic medallist
• Danny CARE – Rugby – England National team player
• Lawrence DALLAGLIO – Rugby – Six Nations & World Cup Winner
• Mo FARAH – 4-time Olympic Gold medallist
• Ada HEGERBERG – Football – Women Ballon d’Or 2018 & 5-time Women Champions League Winner
• Ryan JONES – Rugby – Former Wales National team captain & Six Nations Winner
• Tom KRISTENSEN – Motor Sport – 9-time 24h Le Mans winner (world record)
• Mike PETERS – Singer
• Robert PIRÈS – Football – World & European Champion
• Paula RADCLIFFE – World champion in the marathon, half marathon and cross country
• Lauren STEADMAN – Paralympics Silver Medallist & World Champion in 4 × 100 m freestyle
• Doug ULMAN – Cancer Survivor, Advocate and New Pelotonia CEO
• Diangelo WILLIAMS – US Football/NFL Player