Three 17 year-old students from Loughborough Grammar School have proudly presented a cheque for £4468 to the Breast Cancer Care charity, money they raised from a sponsored cycle trip across France in August. Greg Cornes, Will Rowell and Matt Taylor, all of whom are in their final year at school, covered an astonishing 1322 kilometres in two weeks. Starting in St Malo, they travelled through Tours and Chalon-sur-Saône en route to their final destination, Dunkirk.
The trip was enabled by the school’s Johnnie Johnson fund which awards grants to a handful of successful bidders each year to allow a few boys to undertake an educational adventure challenge in the summer holidays. In this case the educational element was that the route followed that of three Tour de France riders who lost their lives in World War 1. It included key locations from the cyclists’ lives and visits to the war cemeteries at Ypres and Verdun which the boys found to be very moving and enlightening. The help that the boys received from the Johnnie Johnson fund covered the costs of the trip and ensured that all of the sponsorship money went to the charity.
Pictured handing over the cheque to the charity’s representative, Shahida Majid, are Greg, Will and Matt with the Headmaster, Paul Fisher, looking on. Recalling their adventure Will commented, “Although we were a little apprehensive when we set off on our own on the overnight ferry from Portsmouth, we soon got going the next morning and started covering the kilometres. On the longest day’s ride we did 180km and that did hurt a bit, particularly as it always seemed to be uphill and against the wind. But we finished it and we are very thankful for all of the help and support we received. We are particularly pleased to have raised such a large sum for Breast Cancer Care; it smashed the target we had set ourselves.”
Mr Fisher said, “Everyone at the school is very proud of the boys’ achievement and it is especially good that they have used the trip to raise money for charity. I am sure the memories of their adventure will stay with them for a long time.”
Shahida Majid voiced her thanks to the boys for their efforts and particularly for the large amount raised. She said that the money would be put to very good use caring for women with breast cancer, a condition that affects very many.
Thankfully the boys didn’t suffer too many mishaps along the way with only a couple of punctures and one broken chain to with which to contend. They do, however, all appear to have lost interest – for now – in days out on their bikes!