2Sunderland customer service employees are hitting the ‘Road to Rio’, by taking part in a virtual bike ride to support companywide fundraising for the British Paralympic Association.

Staff from EDF Energy at Doxford International Business Park took part in a companywide challenge which encourages participants to clock up the 5,553 miles to reach Rio on a static spinning bike.

The challenge is part of the company’s Road to Rio roadshow, which is touring EDF Energy sites in the run up to the Rio Paralympic Games. Since the London 2012 Paralympic Games, EDF Energy has continued its partnership with the British Paralympic Association, providing support and fundraising for the charity.

EDF Energy is currently taking part in the Supercharge ParalympicsGB campaign, which aims to raise awareness and funding for the British team, through companywide fundraising to help support athletes’ preparations for Rio 2016.

Kevin Gatens, head of customer service North East, said: “The roadshow visit really drummed up interest and helped us learn more about the inspiring people that dedicate their lives not only to sport but being positive role models for those with disabilities in the community.

“The team also enjoyed taking part in the companywide cycling challenge. Activities like this always create a fun and positive atmosphere in the centre. We also really encourage good health and the cycling challenge offers another opportunity for the team to get active.”

As well as their support for the British Paralympic Association, the company is supporting eight para athletes as they train hard with the hope of competing for the ParalympicsGB team in Rio.

Tim Hollingsworth, CEO of the British Paralympic Association, said: “The ParalympicsGB team will face its toughest competition yet in Rio with standards increasing across all sports and among teams from other nations, and that is likely to become even fiercer over coming Games.

“Support and fundraising from EDF Energy and its Doxford office will help us to best prepare the team in the crucial final days before Rio, making a tangible different to their performances at the Games, and laying the ground for future success.

“As we saw in London 2012, the Games are so much more than the competition itself. We hope to inspire the nation, continue to challenge perceptions and ultimately help create a better world for disabled people.”