Cyclists in 1,000 mile challenge for school

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CHILDREN will be able to get to school on four wheels thanks to a team of fund-raisers who cycled on two.

Liam O’Connell, 69, lead a team of cyclists 1,000 miles in 12 days from John O’Groats to Land’s End, raising £16,500.

The money has been spent on a new mini bus for Palatine School, in The Boulevard, Durrington, where his grandson, Niall Roberts, nine, is a pupil.

Liam, who lives in Irvine Road, Littlehampton, took up cycling as therapy after a three-storey fall left him with severe back and ankle injuries.

He said: “This is my 14th cycle ride and I am delighted that I have seen the fruits of our labour with this one. The minibus is fantastic and I am very pleased we were able to help my grandson’s school.”

Liam was joined on the cycle challenge by doctor Rory Cavanagh, 59, and engineer Barrie LeGrove, 64, and along the way was joined by other fund-raisers, including his next-door neighbours Jo and Sophia Funnell..

Anthony Cheung, whose private London banking firm contributed £6,000, took part in the final 300 miles.

Former middleweight world champion boxer, and Littlehampton resident, Alan Minter, raised a huge amount of the final total, but was unable to take part himself.

Nick Dry, head teacher at Palatine School, cycled the last 180 miles of the challenge.

He said: “When Liam came to me and said he planned to raise enough for a new minibus by cycling I was a little unsure, thinking it very ambitious. I decided to join in with the ride, which was fantastic, and I was overwhelmed when I heard just how much money had been raised.”

The school has three minibuses, but all are more than 12 years old and need replacing.

Nick added: “We have 111 children on roll and try to get each class out into the community every week – the new minibus will make a huge difference.”

The minibus has already been used to take Palatine pupils to a Christmas Concert at St Andrew’s Church in Tarring.