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14 May 2010 | PR 10/84

‘Canteen Six’ set off on Skegness cycle

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The 'Canteen Six'

A team of staff from Loughborough University’s Facilities Management department have set off on a gruelling 96-mile charity cycle ride from Loughborough to Skegness.

The self-titled ‘canteen six’, so-named because the ride was agreed over lunch in the staff cafeteria, set off at 7am this morning (Friday 14 May) and hope to arrive on the Lincolnshire coast by 5pm this evening.

Fitter Martin Stringfellow is the man responsible for this charity ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which he decided to do after his mother was given a heart valve replacement last year. It is also fitting for another employee on the ride who is receiving ongoing treatment from the BHF for an existing heart condition.

“The BHF do a lot of amazing work and after their treatment of my mum I wanted to give something back,” said Martin. “You don’t realise how good the system is until you experience it first hand.”

Martin is joined by fellow fitter Jonathan Cripps, painter Stratford Colley, builders Kieran Meakin and David Gaff, and fire officer Rod Harrison. Energy Technician Greg Watts was also due to take part in the ride, but has been ruled out due to a chest infection.

The team, aged from 20-51 years old, has been training for this event since Christmas, fitting early morning 25-mile cycle rides in twice a week before work over the last three months. 

The ride marks the end of the University’s It’s Better OFF to be active week, which has been encouraging employees to think of alternative methods of transport to and from work and across campus to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and promote better health.

Martin, who lives on the outskirts of Loughborough, already cycles into work every day but has seen increased benefits of training for the Skegness ride.

“It’s much quicker for me to cycle to work as I don’t get stuck in the traffic coming into town,” he said. “Since we’ve had the new showers fitted it makes it much easier as I can change and freshen up when I get onto campus.

“I cycle for ease rather than health, so one of the great things about training for Skegness is I’ve got fitter and have definitely lost some weight, but the downside has certainly been the cold, frosty mornings.”  

The group has already surpassed its £300 fundraising target and is now hoping to raise close to £1000 on behalf of the British Heart Foundation, whose National Centre for Physical Activity and Health is part of the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Anyone interested in donating can find out more by emailing news@lboro.ac.uk

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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