Littlehampton cyclist supports Palatine School

Liam Connell, Simon Oltman, Rory Cavanagh and Barrie LeGrove, who are cycling 1,000 miles to raise funds for Palatine School

Liam Connell, Simon Oltman, Rory Cavanagh and Barrie LeGrove, who are cycling 1,000 miles to raise funds for Palatine School

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CHILDREN will be able to get to school on four wheels, if a team of intrepid fund-raisers can cover 1,000 miles, in 12 days, on two.

Littlehampton man Liam O’Connell, 67, will lead a team of cyclists from John O’Groats to Land’s End, in a bid to raise the £15,000 needed to buy a bus for Palatine School, in Durrington, where his grandson, Niall, is a pupil.

Liam, who is also a member of local Irish band Boxty, took up cycling as therapy after a three-storey fall left him with severe back and ankle injuries.

He said: “The accident prevented me from taking part in my favourite forms of exercise, running and swimming, so while convalescing I tried my hand at riding a bike instead.”

He will set off from the Scottish town on Monday, July 25, joined by doctor Rory Cavanagh, 59, and engineer Barrie LeGrove, 64.

Along the way they will be joined by yet more fund-raisers, including former middleweight world champion boxer, and Littlehampton resident, Alan Minter.

Last year, Liam and his team raised £6,000 for the Help Sophie to Walk campaign, by cycling the pilgrim’s route on the Way of St James, from France to Spain.

He decided to set his sights even higher this year though, after receiving a calendar from the school, which works with children with moderate to severe learning difficulties, autism and profound disability or medical conditions.

“They were asking for donations towards a minibus,” he said.

“I decided there and then to do something really demanding this year in order to raise enough money to buy the bus in one hit.”

The team will set off on Monday.

To donate, go to www.justgiving.com/Liam-Connell0