Double WSB champ James Toseland donates racing leathers for Sheffield children’s charity
Two-time World Superbike champion, James Toseland has donated two signed sets of his old racing leathers to The Children’s Hospital Charity, in Sheffield, to help them raise money for a new cancer and leukaemia ward, emergency department and helipad.
Toseland is an ambassador for the charity and has been leading their annual Easter Egg Run motorcycle ride out for the past 16 years - usually raising around £5000 annually. He donated the suits after this year’s event had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.
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"The ride is more about the spectacle and the atmosphere for the kids," James told MCN. "It's only a drop in the ocean for what they need to earn, but you've also got to think about the break it gives the kids from their daily routines.
"It's fundamental that we support the charity and keep it going to its highest capacity to be able to give the kids every chance of recovering," he added.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the hospital has seen a 35% drop in fundraising – equating to around £1.3m and a delay in the required improvements to the facility. In a bid to combat this, a number of prizes - including the leathers - are currently either being auctioned or raffled online.
Going to the highest bidder will be a signed Arlen Ness suit worn by James during the 2006 season in his first year with Ten Kate Honda. This particular suit sports the full Winston tobacco sponsorship – only allowed to run at certain races that season, such as Qatar.
If that’s a little out of your budget, you could also bag yourself a signed Axo suit from James' 2005 WSB season with Xerox Ducati in the charity raffle. Tickets are £5 each, with the winner drawn on Tuesday, 6 April. The auction closes a day earlier, on Monday, 5 April.
"The 2005 set is rare, because it's got Giacomino on the back," James explained. "This was my nickname when I first joined World Superbikes, when I was around 20, because, in Italian, Giacomo means James and Bambino means child. And it stuck - so I always had Giacomino on my leathers for the Italian races.
"I try to keep one set of leathers from each year I was racing, just for a keepsake. We previously auctioned off my MotoGP set from 2008 and my 2003 World Superbike ones that I won my very first race in and raised nearly £3000."
Those not lucky enough to win the leathers could still walk away with some great prizes though, with other winning tickets bagging a Zoom call with James, a Toseland music package, a signed MotoGP book and more. To take part in the fun and find out more about the charity, click here.