Oliver’s cycling challenge set to go ahead

The current coronavirus pandemic has not put Oliver Sidwell off his mission to raise funds for the University through a cycle challenge.

Ollie, who is the current President of the Alumni Association, originally planned to cycle 130 miles from the London campus on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to Loughborough in time to join the alumni reunion event which was due to take place in May. He was set to be joined by a group of staff, students and fellow alumni.

With the reunion event now cancelled due to social distancing measures introduced by the UK Government, in true Loughborough spirit, Ollie has adapted his plans.

He is now going to complete the challenge by cycling outside as part of his permitted daily exercise, or by using an indoor training bike. Professor Tony Edwards, Dean of Loughborough University London who was set to take part in the original challenge has already said he’ll take part and the original volunteers have been invited to join in too.

The challenge will launch on 16 May 2020 and the participants will have 15 days to complete the 130-mile London to Loughborough ‘journey’. A dedicated group for the challenge has been created utilising the popular running and cycling app, Strava, which allows exercise to be tracked via GPS.

Whilst the original plan was to raise money for Sports Scholarships Ollie and Tony have been inspired by the success of the University’s Hardship Fund, which has so far raised more than £50,000. They have decided that they would like to do their bit to support the appeal, helping students who are facing financial struggles and uncertainties due to the pandemic.

Ollie comments: "It is disappointing that we can’t complete the challenge as we had originally planned but we have found a way around that is a good compromise, permissible within current Government exercise guidelines and, most importantly, gives us the opportunity to raise funds for an extremely worthwhile cause”.

Professor Tony Edwards, Dean of Loughborough University London, adds:

“When Ollie mentioned this venture, I was delighted. I’m sure our new challenge will still be great fun and raise money for an excellent cause. I have a feeling Strava might introduce a little competition into the mix."

The Emergency Hardship Fund was set up in March to raise money for those students who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact the alumni team.

Find out more about the 130-mile Challenge.