CREDIT, WHERE CREDIT’S DUE
Paul Loftus, is the 2014 recipient of Cumbria Tourism’s Bernard Gooch Tourism Personality of the Year Award on behalf of The Fred Whitton Challenge
Paul was presented with the accolade at Cumbria Tourism’s Annual General Meeting, held at the North Lakes Hotel, Penrith, at the end of June.
Each year Cumbria Tourism’s Commercial Members’ Committee present the Bernard Gooch Tourism Personality of the Year Award, in recognition of an individual or team who has demonstrated an outstanding contribution over and above their normal duties to enhance the visitor economy in Cumbria.
The Fred Whitton is strictly a non-profit making venture, with proceeds going to charity – MacMillan, Air Ambulance and Mountain Rescue.
Paul Loftus, lead organiser of the Fred Whitton, said: ‘’Being presented with the Bernard Gooch Award by Cumbria Tourism is a fitting recognition for something that we haven’t set out to promote. The challenge is a fantastic way of remembering Fred Whitton; he was an inspiration and introduced many people to cycling during his life. That’s exactly what we continue to do as a club and by running ‘The Fred’ we also get to introduce people to this fantastic cycling county from all over the UK, which Fred would have loved. It is thanks to our army of volunteers the event has grown and because of their dedication and commitment we have been able to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity over the years, something that we are all immensely proud of and is a fitting tribute to a great friend.’’
Ian Stephens, Managing Director at Cumbria Tourism, commented: “We are delighted to recognise Paul’s and The Fred Whitton’s achievements both for charity and as a leading event in the outdoor industry, a true inspiration to us all.’’
Sarah Ross, the new Chair of Cumbria Tourism’s Commercial Members’ Committee, added: ‘’The Committee felt that Paul as the lead figure in the organisation and running of this prestigious and internationally acclaimed challenge cycling event should be recognised for his achievements. Each year the ‘Fred’ also provides a significant boost to the Cumbrian visitor economy, both in terms of spreading the word about the cycling offer in the county, but in economic terms with visitor spend on accommodation and food and drink. Paul’s dedication and commitment are inspiring, especially in light of the contribution he has made in helping to raise over £820,000 for charity to date. He and The Fred Whitton are a very deserving winner of the Bernard Gooch Tourism Personality of the Year Award 2014, for the outstanding contribution they have made to Cumbria.”
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