When it comes to challenges for charity it doesn’t come much tougher than a 100-mile bike ride in ten hours – particularly when the cyclist is just 13-years-old.
Teenager Owen Newbury is taking that trek on for charity this weekend to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance.
He will be joined by a number of his teachers at Dyke House Sports & Technology College.
Owen, from the Fens area of Hartlepool, shares his dad Nigel’s passion for cycling and father and son have been riding together for a number of years.
Mr Newbury said: “I have enjoyed cycling with Owen for a while and his ambition to add his cycling talent to charity seems a perfect match.
“Myself and his mam (Lindsey) are very proud of him.”
This will be a very tough task and one that we as a school want to support wholeheartedlyAndrew Jordon, Dyke House school executive principal
Owen will set off on two circuits of 50 miles, starting at Dyke House tomorrow.
He said: “I saw the air ambulance land to help people in a car crash and thought it would be good to support them, as they are helping people all the time and saving lives.”
His head of school (Year 9), Pam Fisher, said: “Apart from being a lovely lad and someone who tries his best in school, Owen is very competent when it comes to everything sport related.”
Dyke House’s executive principal Andrew Jordon, head of college Andrew Murphy and assistant head of Year 9 Adam Whitehead will also get involved along with others who are going to cycle different stages of the route.
Mr Jordon said: “This will be a very tough task and one that we as a school want to support wholeheartedly.
“We are proud of Owen and think that it is testament to his character that he wants to help in this way.
“We will be right with him, cycling, to show that we support and encourage this kind of activity.”
As well as helping the Great North Air Ambulance, the school hopes to raise money for defibrillators that save those who suddenly are struck down with cardiac arrest through other fundraising activities.
Miss Fisher added: “We want to be a school that cares for every student, parent, employee and partner and we are therefore looking forward to October 1 as a day when the community might come together to support all the activities and the charitable efforts of Owen.”
The Great North Air Ambulance Service is a charity which provides air ambulance services across the North of England, including North Yorkshire, the North-East, Cumbria and Scottish borders.
It currently operates three helicopters across its bases at Langwathby, near Penrith, Cumbria and Durham Tees Valley Airportand must raise £4.5 million a year to keep the three helicopters in the sky.
If you would like more information, you can email the team address at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01429) 812212.
To make a donation, check out Owen’s Just Giving page, which is www.justgiving.com/OwensBikeRide.