Shropshire college’s groundbreaking virtual cycle raises over £3,500 for Ethiopian primary school

Students and staff at a Shropshire college have ridden the challenge of a virtual cycle of 8,672km to Ethiopia – and have raised more than £3,500 for a primary school.

Former Great Britain cycling Olympic and Paralympic team manager Dave Mellor (left), who helped launch the event on a spin bike, and Concord College principal Neil Hawkins
Former Great Britain cycling Olympic and Paralympic team manager Dave Mellor (left), who helped launch the event on a spin bike, and Concord College principal Neil Hawkins

In what has been a first for Acton Burnell-based Concord College over 200 students, either in school or in their native country, took part in ‘Pedal4Lalibela’, collectively achieving the total distance.

The challenge took a total of 16 days and the route, which was cycled and rowed, spanned over 14 countries as well as the English Channel and Red Sea.

Organisers Steven Cale, geography teacher, and Matt Rawlinson, biology teacher, said the initial aim was to raise £2,000 to refurbish two classrooms in Lalibela Primary School.

Watch the challenge here:

In addition, to improve learning opportunities for young people in some of the poorest parts of Ethiopia.

As a result of surpassing £3,500, there will be the opportunity to refurbish three or four classrooms as well as other school facilities for the 1,900 students studying at Lalibela.

Mr Cale said: “We are grateful for the generous donations from so many people within the Concord community.

"All of the money will go directly to Lalibela Primary School and be invested in improved classrooms.

“We shall publish updates in the coming months to show how this generosity is directly helping children and teachers in Lalibela.

“Whilst the last kilometre consisted of road cycling, the rest of the journey was undertaken using the college’s exercise bikes and rowing machines.

“The virtual journey was accomplished collectively through the efforts of students and staff as well as cycling and rowing contributions from alumni and the wider Concord community.”

Mr Cale added: “It is still not too late for people to donate.

"To support the Concord community in raising money for Lalibela Primary School, people can securely donate on the JustGiving page.”

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