The Origin of Tour du ALS
Thursday, June 9, 2023, hundreds of cyclists, hikers and runners will climb the French Mont Ventoux together with ALS patients. Their goal is to raise money in the fight against ALS. The 11th edition of this unique (and much needed) event will be just as special as previous years.
But how did Tour du ALS actually arise?
What initially was intended to be a cycling tour in France for a private group soon resulted in an annual sporting fundraising event with the motto 'Together we kick ALS out of the world'.
For example, Ivan Sweebroek and Gert-Jan Pijl contacted Stichting ALS Netherlands at the end of 2011. Gert-Jan wanted to go to Mont Ventoux with his family, his wife Irmgard taking the role of treasurer, and his friends joining as well to raise money for ALS. Irmgard's father, Gijs van de Water, suffered from this disease.
At the same time, Bernard Bos, former director of the De Oosthoek school community in Hardenberg, also contacted ALS Netherlands. One of his colleagues, 33-year-old Marlinda Tamminga, was diagnosed with ALS. This motivated Bernard to take on the challenge together with colleagues and to cycle for charity.
Both initiatives reached the ALS Netherlands Foundation, after which PR & Events manager Ineke Zaal initiated a meeting in the center of the country. After that, Tour du ALS soon would be a fact.
“I think the best thing about this event is originated from the family sense with two ALS patients at the source of inspiration. We started with less than 25 people and now the 'family' has grown to hundreds of participants, ALS patients and volunteers who make a positive contribution to the fight against ALS in a special way.”
Under the flag of the ALS Netherlands Foundation
In 2017, the board of the Tour du ALS Foundation chose to join forces with the ALS Netherlands Foundation. For this reason the Tour du ALS Foundation September 1, 2017 was merged into the ALS Netherlands Foundation. In the years that followed, Gert-Jan Pijl actively contributed to the organization of Tour du ALS as a volunteer for the ALS Netherlands Foundation.
Farewell to our founders of Tour du ALS
In 2022, Gert-Jan and Irmgard Pijl, the founders of Tour du ALS, will say their goodbyes to Tour du ALS after ten years of pure passion, commitment, decisiveness and involvement in the fight against ALS. After the 10th edition of the sportsevent, they have decided to spend their time and energy on other great projects, their family and grandchildren. Gert-Jan and Irmgard and look back on a precious time.
We want to thank Gert-Jan and Irmgard for the great partnership!