If you haven’t heard of Riders for Health, it is the official charity of MotoGP, and also happens to be Asphalt & Rubber‘s favorite cause to support. Last year I had the supreme opportunity to attend Rider’s biggest fundraising event, the Day of Champions, which was held the Thursday before the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. While unfortunately I missed this year’s event (David and Scott got to attend though), I was very pleased to hear that British MotoGP fans raised £216,249 (over $336,000) for the charity.
That money will go towards helping Riders for Health to improve access to healthcare in Africa, where the charity relies on motorcycles to help bring healthcare professionals to remote villages, as well as reliably transporting medical samples, vaccines, etc. to places where four-wheeled drive vehicles cannot reach. I won’t go into a huge spiel about how awesome Riders for Health is, but if you want to read more about the great work these people are doing, you can read about them here.
While many in the MotoGP paddock have given endless amounts of support to Riders for Health, one standout supporter of this great cause is Valentino Rossi. During last Thursday’s rider auction, Rossi helped to raise £13,250 in just 20 minutes with nine items, which included a unique clay hand print, knee sliders, and the baseball hat he wore onto the stage. In total, the auction raised £77,090 for Riders, making Rossi’s star power account for over 17% of the money raised.
Crunching the numbers further, Riders for Health says that Rossi has raised almost a quarter of a million pounds for the charity over the past 10 years, which is almost as phenomenal as The Doctor’s on-track performances. Talking about Rossi’s fundraising talents, Riders for Health’s Co-Founder and CEO, Andrea Coleman says that “Valentino Rossi has such presence on stage and such a connection with his fans that it is impossible not to get swept up in the bidding. Fans simply want to take home a piece of him.”
“We are immensely grateful to Valentino for using this relationship with his fans for a good purpose and supporting Riders for Health, and to each and every MotoGP rider who gives up their time every year for people who really need their help,” Coleman added.
Over 20 years since Riders for Health was founded, the charity has transformed access to health care for 14 million people across Africa. With the continued support of riders like Valentino Rossi, along with the rest of the GP racers who take the time to help support this great cause, A&R hopes that many millions more will benefit from the work Riders for Health undertakes in Africa.
If you would like to donate to Riders for Health, you can do so here through the charity’s secure donations page.