29th Jun, 2022

Coventry teacher completed daring cycle and raised £4k for Motor Neurone Disease

Felix Nobes 30th Jun, 2018 Updated: 1st Jul, 2018

A COVENTRY primary school teacher reached his peak when he completed a cycle up Mont-Ventoux to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Conor Fitzhugh, a 24-year-old teacher at Finham Primary School, took to new heights after he cycled 140km and raised more than £4,000 for the charity – exceeding the anticipated fundraising total of £3,500.

The infamous challenge, known as the Ventoux Club des Cinglés Challenge, translates to ‘brotherhood of the Ventoux nutters’ and dares the brave to cycle three steep ascents of the mountain in one day.

The team was made up 15 people from Coventry – including colleagues, drivers, a bike mechanic, and a cook.

All helped to train, motivate and encourage Fitzhugh both in the nine months leading up to the challenge and on the big day.

Fitzhugh, who had no previous experience of riding steep and long distances, completed the challenge in 13 hours alongside three other members of his team after months of training alongside headteacher and cycling coach for this whole project, Richard Machin.

The challenge was inspired and chosen by the children at Finham Primary School, who also took on their own set of challenges to show their support.

Fitzhugh said: “It was important to show the children that they should take on new challenges and try something outside of their comfort zone.

“The children at Finham Primary School did an amazing job. They carried out the product research, searched for sponsors, made the snacks that would help fuel us during the day and even built the bikes!

“We did a live stream to the school once we arrived in France and it was great to have support from all of the children.

“I would like to thank everyone on my team, including friends, family and colleagues, who played a massive part in helping me to complete this challenge.

“We really push on values and respect at the school and the team behind the operation really showcased their talent and the value of hard work.”

The money raised will go towards campaigning, funding research and improving care for those with Motor Neurone Disease.

Motor Neurone Disease is a group of diseases that rapidly affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, eventually causing the muscles in the body to no longer work.

He said: “Motor Neurone Disease is a condition that is very close to my heart. I am so proud of how much money and awareness we have raised. It was a very emotional but extremely satisfactory ride.”

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