Coast to Coast success

English Martyrs School and Sixth Form students Christian Caswell (left) and Christopher Marshall-Bell
English Martyrs School and Sixth Form students Christian Caswell (left) and Christopher Marshall-Bell

A GROUP of sport-mad teenagers are relaxing after completing a 142-mile coast-to-coast challenge in aid of a hospice.

Hartlepool teenagers Christopher Marshall-Bell, Christian Caswell, Craig Risebury and Simon Flaherty took just four days to complete the mammoth challenge in aid of the Hartlepool & District Hospice, in Wells Avenue.

The determined group of students all attend English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, in Catcote Road.

Their efforts have so far helped raise about £650, but they want to raise much more.

The 17-year-olds, who are all keen cyclists, were joined by three teachers on the mammoth coast-to-coast challenge from St Bees Head, in Cumbria.

They started out last Tuesday, July 31, before cycling back into Hartlepool at lunchtime last Friday.

Christopher, from the Foggy Furze area of town, said: “It is a fantastic challenge and from our point of view it went really well.

“We actually managed to make it back into Hartlepool four or five hours earlier than we had planned, which was good.

“We are all keen cyclists but parts of the challenge were difficult, including four huge climbs.

“But the descents made up for it and the weather was kind to us which helped.”

Teachers Chris Glynn and Joe Palmer cycled with the group, while fellow teacher Mark Blackwood was keeping an eye on them in a bus.

A fundraising target of £800 has been set and the teenagers hope to reach that figure.

Christopher added: “The Hospice is obviously a great cause to raise money for and we are pleased with the amount so far.

“But it would be great to boost that even higher.”

The Coast to Coast route involved crossing the Lake District National park, the Pennines and the Tees Valley before culminating with fish and chips at Hartlepool Marina.

Ahead of the challenge, in a bid to boost their fundraising efforts, the group held crisp and cake sales which proved popular with the Year 7 pupils at the school before they broke up for summer.

The group stayed in youth hostels and B&Bs during the four-day challenge.

To sponsor the group visit