The Premier League and Euro 2020 Cycling Tour, a 1,000-mile ride raising awareness of modern slavery and child trafficking in sport, checked in at Anfield last weekend.
Led by Guinness World Record holder Gordon Miller, the event includes visits to each of the 20 Premier League teams between June 27 and July 11, culminating at Wembley to coincide with the Euro 2020 final.
LFC Foundation CEO Matt Parish was at the Reds’ stadium on Saturday to meet Miller and offer support and encouragement for the subsequent stages of the ride.
There are more than 40 million people in some form of slavery on any given day worldwide, according to the Global Slavery Index. The Trafficking in Persons 2020 Report notes that “within Europe’s soccer industry alone, it is estimated there are 15,000 human trafficking victims each year”.
Miller, the Ride for Freedom team leader and a human rights advocate, said: “Many of those trafficked in sport are youths. They are lured to Europe by promises of better lives and the opportunity of trials with professional football clubs that may lead to untold riches. It’s an under-reported crime that needs a light shining on it.”
Developed and delivered in partnership with the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London, and Ardea International, the tour is engaging with Premier League clubs, local sport and cycling clubs, corporations, NGOs and sports bodies to educate and raise awareness within communities.
Since the ride began at Wembley last month, cyclists, fans and sponsors have also been showing support at several Euro 2020 host cities, including Munich, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Glasgow.
The Premier League and Euro 2020 Cycling Tour will fundraise to develop Freewheel by Ride for Freedom. Developed in partnership with Unseen, the national charity that runs the Modern Slavery Helpline, Freewheel empowers survivors of modern day slavery to cycle.
Miller set a Guinness World Record in October 2020 when he cycled 620.5 miles around England to spell the words ‘end modern slavery’. The verified challenge saw him become the title holder for ‘the largest GPS drawing by bicycle (individual)’.