United Learning’s Head of Sport Shaun Dowling and Educational Technologist Bruce Wilson are putting months of training to the test today as they begin the first leg of Ride ABC.
The epic 600-mile bike route will take them from the starting line at Ashford School in Kent via the Group’s Bournemouth cluster to the Richard Rose Academies in Carlisle. Visiting 25 schools in total along the route, the aim of it will be to raise money for Sport Relief and United Learning’s SITUPS programme, which uses the power of sport to drive improvement.
United Learning pupils nationwide will be eagerly watching Shaun and Bruce’s progress, as well as delivering on an exciting calendar of their own supporting events. Overall, thousands of pupils and their teachers will be taking part in Ride ABC in some way. Donations can be made here, with funds split 75/25 between Sport Relief and SITUPS.
Shaun Dowling, Head of Sport for United Learning and Ride ABC cyclist said:
“We are delighted to be teaming up with Sport Relief this year for RideABC. We have already been overwhelmed by the support United Learning schools have given this project and are thrilled that so many of our students will have the opportunity to be involved in some exciting physical challenges, whilst raising money for two brilliant charities.
“Across our Group, we have a phenomenal enthusiasm for PE and sport and our schools do a huge amount to promote physical activity and enjoyment of sport and dance through the curriculum and enrichment activities. What’s particularly important about Ride ABC – alongside the fact that it brings so many of our schools together in a shared initiative – is that pupils of any age and ability can take part and get actively involved.”
Ashford School is the proud host of Ride ABC’s starting celebrations – with pupils and staff helping Shaun and Bruce kick off the first leg of their challenge. As well as seeing the cyclists off safely, pupils and staff have put together a whole-day programme of events to mark the occasion and celebrate the tremendous sporting talent right across Ashford School.
As part of the RideABC ‘opening ceremony’, the school is welcoming top alpine skier Chemmy Alcott, fresh from covering the Winter Olympics, and Adele Carlsen, former British Olympic champion in synchronised swimming. Carlsen will be imparting some words of wisdom before delivering a synchronised swimming lesson for pupils, and later leading the school in a Sport Relief mile run.
Dan Cusani, Director of Sports at Ashford School, said:
“We are very proud to be hosting the ‘opening ceremony’ for United Learning’s RideABC for Sport Relief and providing some energy, enthusiasm and encouragement for Shaun and Bruce as they begin their 600 mile ride. The challenge is a brilliant opportunity for our pupils to celebrate the power of sport, reflect on their own sporting goals and achievements and, ultimately, get active in support of Sport Relief. Likewise, it is a great demonstration of the way we work together as a group of schools, in United Learning, to promote the value of sport and PE in the curriculum and the lasting benefits of setting children up to live active and healthy lives.”
Day One of RideABC will take Shaun and Bruce from Ashford School via Seahaven Academy to Shoreham Academy in West Sussex. There, this afternoon students will be welcoming the cyclists with a mini obstacle course – a taster day for their annual, very popular Tough Runner event on March 23rd in aid of Sport Relief. Then, on Day Two, the RideABC route will be weaving through schools in Bognor Regis and Portsmouth.
United Learning is grateful to have the support of CycleTech UK in this venture, the largest co-operative of cycle mechanics in the UK. For local mechanics in your area visit: http://www.cycletechuk.com/p/home.html.