A former professional rugby player and director of a renewable energy specialist is joining a host of the game’s greats to take part in a gruelling 1,238-mile bike challenge for charity.

Jason Oakes, Managing Director of Oakes Energy Services, is supporting the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation as one of six cyclists travelling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in The Great Rugby Cycle 2019 to help raise funds and awareness of the foundation.

The My Name’5 Doddie Foundation was established by former Scotland and British and Irish Lions international, Doddie Weir, who revealed he was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. It aims to raise funds to support research into the causes of the disease, investigate potential cures and support those affected by it.

The Great Rugby Cycle 2019 will take place between 4-20 March 2019, involving rugby internationals, televisions stars and celebrities, who are backing the event and will be at a number of the charity events associated with the challenge.

Former rugby internationals involved in the event, include:

  • Mike Tindall MBE
  • Matt Dawson
  • Neil Back MBE
  • Scott Hastings
  • Simon Shaw MBE
  • Ian Gough
  • Craig Minto Chalmers
  • Rory Lawson

Before establishing Oakes Energy Services in 2007, Jason played professionally for the Newcastle Falcons as a lock. He signed with the Falcons in 2006, establishing himself as a starter at the position, in all competitions, leading to him signing an extended three-year contract with the club at the end of the 2006/07 season. In November 2007, Jason’s career was tragically cut short due to a serious Achilles tendon injury, which forced him to hang up his boots.

Oakes Energy Services provides a range of energy efficient services to commercial and domestic applications, which includes designing and installing renewable energy systems to reduce energy consumption and bills. It forms part of Pacifica Group, one of the UK’s leading home services firms, which is headquartered in Houghton le Spring.

Jason Oakes said: “I have known Doddie since my playing days and he is a legend in the game and was a stalwart for Scotland and the Lions. I was more than happy to get involved in supporting this fantastic cause, through The Great Rugby Cycle.

“It will be a massive challenge, but one we’re ready for, even if I haven’t laced up my boots or trained professionally for a while! I am excited to catch up with a number of colleagues from the game over the course of the event, while raising awareness and funds in the process.”

For further information about The Great Rugby Cycle 2019, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/TheGreatRugbyCycleRide