The Origin of Tour du ALS
Thursday the 13th of june, hundreds of cyclers, walkers and joggers accompanied by ALS patients together climb the Mont Ventoux. Their motivation for doing this is to raise money for the battle against ALS. The 12th edition of this event again is expected to be just as impressive as earlier editions.
But how did Tour du ALS arise?
What at first was meant to be a small bicycle tour for a small private group of friends, actually turned out into a big recurring sportive fundraising with the slogan: “ Together we kick out ALS”
At the end of 2011 Ivan Sweebroek and Gert-Jan Pijl contacted the ALS foundation. Gert-Jan Pijl wanted to climb the Mont Ventoux accompanied by his wife Irmgard as Financial officer, accompanied by their friends and family. The goal was to raise money for ALS. Irmgrads dad, Gijs van de Water, had been diagnosed with the disease.
During that same time, Bernard Bos, former principal of the educative community in Hardenberg, got in contact with the ALS Foundation. One of his colleagues, 33 year old Marlinda Tamminga, got diagnosed with ALS disease. She motivated Bernard and fellow colleagues to take up the challenge and to cycle for the same good cause.
Both initiatives reached Ineke Zaal, the PR & Events manager of the ALS Foundation. She decided to organise a central located meeting. Not long after that, Tour du ALS arised.
Tour du ALS collaborates with the ALS Foundation Netherlands
In 2017, the board of the Tour du ALS Foundation chose to join forces with the ALS Netherlands Foundation. As a result, as of September 1, 2017, the Tour du ALS Foundation merged into the ALS Netherlands Foundation. In the years following, Gert-Jan Pijl actively contributed as a volunteer of the ALS Netherlands Foundation to the Tour du ALS.
Parting with the Founders of Tour du ALS
In 2022, after 10 years of pure passion, dedication, determination, and involvement in the fight against ALS, Gert-Jan and Irmgard Pijl, the founders of Tour du ALS, decided to say farewell to Tour du ALS. They have decided that after the 10th edition of the sporting event, they will redirect their time and energy towards other wonderful projects, their family, and grandchildren. Gert-Jan and Irmgard look back on a remarkable period. We express our gratitude to Gert-Jan and Irmgard for the wonderful collaboration!