Vale of Belvoir Viking Challenge pedal power raises record-breaking £30k for worthwhile causes

Sarah Cobb (left), Jane Noad (centre) and Mrs Hopkins (right) with the children of Redmile Primary School PHOTO: Supplied
Sarah Cobb (left), Jane Noad (centre) and Mrs Hopkins (right) with the children of Redmile Primary School PHOTO: Supplied

Determined cyclists who took to the saddle for last year’s Vale of Belvoir Viking Challenge have raised £30k, the largest amount in the event’s 24 year history.

Over 1,000 riders took part in the off-road cycling challenge in October, setting off from Redmile on a 30km or 55km ride along the Viking Way.

The proceeds were shared between Redmile Primary School and Reach Learning Disability at a presentation evening last Friday. At the presentation Jane Noad, Viking Challenge committee chairperson, gifted Julie Hopkins, executive head teacher of Redmile Primary School, and Sarah Cobb, from Reach, their cheques.

She said: “On behalf of the school and the Viking Challenge committee I need to say a massive thank you to all the riders, sponsors, the 64 parents who baked cakes to feed our cyclists and the 180 volunteers who supported the event.

“This is a group effort and it is down to every single person who contributes his or her time on the day, before and after the event or who bakes a cake that makes it the fantastic event it is.

“The money raised makes such a big difference to the children of Redmile Primary School and hopefully to our charity partner.”

Former pupil Josh Beeston was awarded the Peter Snow Award for going above and beyond to support the Viking Challenge with his catering. This special award is a tribute to the late Peter Snow, who always rode the Viking Challenge.

At the end of the presentation evening, Mrs Hopkins said: “What a phenomenal amount to receive.

“As we hear in the news about the pressures on school budgets, this cheque for £18,000 allows Redmile School to further continue enriching the lives of our pupils.

“We asked the children for suggestions on where they would like to see funds spent and I’m thrilled that we are able to fulfil those wishes from new skipping ropes at playtime to new technology in all our classrooms. Thank you to everyone who makes this possible.”

Sarah Cobb, fundraising officer at Reach Learning Disability, said: “We would like to express a huge thank you to the school and Viking Challenge committee for choosing us as their charity.

“We all had such fun at the event and everyone who came to help said how well organised and friendly it was.

“The £12,000 donated to us is so generous and we are very grateful.

“It really will make a big difference to the lives of people in Nottinghamshire with learning disabilities.”

Preparations are already underway for the 2019 Viking Challenge, which takes place on Sunday, October 6. This will be the 25th anniversary and the committee are already planning a few surprises for the riders. The charity partner is the MS Society.