With the aim of inspiring pupils to get active and of funding new fitness facilities at the new Harris Primary Academy East Dulwich, a peloton of parents and other amateur cyclists left the playground on Saturday morning and rode to the pebbled beach of Brighton. Recent news linking childhood obesity and diabetes, along with the endeavours of the 20-strong group, continues to attract strong support from local businesses and sponsors.

The team have smashed their initial sponsorship target and with a bit of additional help might top £8,000; money earmarked by the school for valuable fitness facilities for pupils. To help them over the line, readers can support their efforts by donating here.

Whilst sending off the riders at 07:30 on Saturday, Principal Jo Conduit said:

“Thank-you to everyone for raising an amazing sum of money but more importantly for being active, inspiring role models. We all have a duty to our children to develop those important life-long habits.” She added, “The stats about childhood obesity are widely known and don’t need repeating.”

Many of the riders who battled the weekend’s inclement weather were non- cyclists, or infrequent riders more accustomed to 5-mile commutes than 55- mile treks. One mum, an embodiment of the ‘inspiring role models Jo talked about, turned to cycling to fight her way back from anaemia and long-term auto-immune illness and pushed herself to her limit in order to complete the ride.

The peloton of parents spanned all year groups, coming together for the event. It also included non-parents from the local community and from local businesses who had got on board to sponsor the event; Seabass Cycles, Dell Autos, Bells Kitchen & Bathroom, The Clinic by Dr Mayoni, William Rose Butchers, Paine & Hunter Opticians and William Bailey Solicitors. As fitness partner ESPH have helped the riders get in shape for the challenge. The group included the 75 year-old father of one of the sponsors whose family was waiting at Brighton Pier to cheer him over the line.

Related links

  • “More than 40 per cent increase in children with type 2 diabetes an ‘unmitigated disaster’, experts say” – The Independent 18/08/18
  • “Severe obesity among 10 and 11-year-olds hits record high, new figures show” – The Independent 24/07/18
  • “Five ways to incorporate physical activity into a child’s daily routine” – BBC Sport Super Movers• “Schoolchildren encouraged to run a mile a day to boost well-being” – ITV News 10/09/18