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Darlington school cycling club saddles up for Coast and Castles challenge

The cycle club is training hard!

12 young people, aged 10 to 17, from Carmel College cycling club are tackling the famous 200-mile Coast and Castles cycle route to raise money for St Teresa’s Hospice.

The group is being trained and led by award-winning Local Motion cycling officer Kevin Kilcullen and keen member of staff Simon Roberts. This is the second year that they have cycled in aid of the Hospice; in 2013 a total of £1,830 was raised by completing the gruelling Coast-to-Coast cycling challenge.

Challenge rider, Hannah Coates, 12, said: “I am doing the Coast and Castles for the first time this year. I know the training has been challenging but I know from my family that having cancer is an even bigger challenge, so I would like to try and raise as much money as possible for the Hospice.”

Hospice Director, Jane Bradshaw said: “When Carmel College cycling club undertook the Coast-to-Coast last year they did a magnificent job, and we’re delighted they have decided to use this challenge to support St Teresa’s Hospice again. On behalf of our patients, volunteers and staff, I’d like to offer our thanks and appreciation, and wish the best of luck to this dedicated group.”

The Coast and Castles route runs from Edinburgh to Newcastle; however, the group has decided to extend the ride by a further 37 miles by cycling back to their hometown. Pupils are planning to complete the route from Edinburgh to Darlington in just three days, averaging 65 miles each day. Months of training have included rides of up to 70 miles over weekends and evenings, and hours of training on static bikes. The route kicks off from Edinburgh Castle on Friday 20 June and finishes at Carmel College on Sunday 22 June.

Councillor David Lyonette, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport said: “It’s going to be hard work, but these young people are ready for it and they’re raring to go. They’ve been training like serious athletes, putting in up to 9 hours of training each week.  St Teresa’s Hospice is a wonderful charity and the pupils are really excited to be able to do something to help”.

Maura Regan, Principal of Carmel College said: “I am delighted with the way in which our young people have engaged in this event”.

The team, which is aiming to raise over £2,000, is being supported by Sherwoods Group, who will be supplying a support vehicle for transporting the riders’ kit throughout the challenge.

Anyone wishing to support the cyclists can donate online through the group’s Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/Carmel-Cycle-Club.  You also can follow the group’s progress on the ride on Twitter at @DoLocalMotion.