Supporting the #LboroFamily
The coronavirus pandemic has not put Oliver Sidwell off his mission to raise funds for the University through a cycling challenge.
The 130-mile challenge will see a group of Loughborough cyclists put their energy into something positive, whilst adhering to government social distancing and daily exercise guidelines. Ollie tells us more below.
I’m Ollie Sidwell and I’m currently President of the Loughborough University Alumni Association.
I attended Loughborough between 2004 and 2007 and I had an incredible time. I set up a business with fellow graduates and we now employ ten members of the #LboroFamily.
In recent months I have been looking at ways in which I could support the University by raising money for an important project or activity. I’m a keen cyclist and thought of a sponsored cycle ride. At a University Council meeting I got chatting to Tony Edwards, the Dean of Loughborough University London, and we came up with the idea of cycling from the Queen Elizabeth Park in London to Loughborough to coincide with the alumni reunion weekend in May. We wanted to create a small team to join us and a few willing staff, students and fellow alumni responded to our call out for participants.
Then coronavirus hit and our plan was scuppered. We had to cancel the reunion weekend and cycle challenge due to government guidelines on social distancing.
I am now pleased to say we’ve come up with a plan B. Tony and I will now undertake the challenge individually. We are going to complete the challenge by cycling outside as part of our permitted daily exercise, or by using an indoor training bike.
The challenge will launch on 16 May and we will have 15 days to complete the 130-mile London to Loughborough ‘journey’. We’ve set up a dedicated group for the challenge on the running and cycling app, Strava, so we can track our progress, and you can see how we’re getting on, too!
I was inspired by the success of the University’s Hardship Fund, and Tony and I have decided that we want to do our bit to support the appeal, helping students who are facing financial struggles and uncertainties due to the coronavirus pandemic. We will ask friends and family to support our 130 challenge by sponsoring us.
Meet the cyclists
15 alumni and members of university staff have volunteered to cycle 130 miles each during the two week period, aiming to raise money for our University Hardship Fund.
Our alumni cyclists are:
- Thomas Baker, Queenstown, New Zealand, BSc Geography 2005
- Dr Thomas Corbett, Lecturer, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, BSc Architectural Engineering and Design Management 2014; MSc Low Carbon Building Design and Modelling 2015; PhD Civil and Building Engineering 2019
- Manuel Costa, Executive Staff, Self-Help Ventures Fund and Credit Union, Miami, USA, BSc Management Sciences 2006
- Ashleigh Day, Geography Teacher, Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, Nottingham, BSc Geography 2014
- Tim Hurst, Essex, BSc Ergonomics 2005
- James Lewis, Victoria, Australia, BSc Sports Science and Physics 2006
- Nick Proctor, Founder and CEO, Amber Energy, Cardiff, BSc Business Economics and Finance 2006
- Oliver Sidwell, Co-Founder, Rate My Placement, London, BSc Geography and Management 2007
- Richard Sutcliffe, Teacher, Malaga, Spain, BSc Sport and Exercise Science 2005
- Rob Taylor, Women’s Cricket Head Coach, Loughborough University, Oakham, BSc Sport Management 2012
- Dr Duncan Walker, Senior Lecturer in Applied Aerodynamics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, BEng Aeronautical Engineering 1994; PhD Aeronautical Engineering 2003
Joining them are:
- Professor Cees De Bont, Dean, School of Design and Creative Arts, Loughborough University, Loughborough
- Professor Tony Edwards, Dean, Loughborough University London, London
- Sarah Fisher, Engagement Assistant, Loughborough University, Loughborough
- Professor Rachel Thomson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Loughborough University, Loughborough
Support the cyclists
Between them, our Loughborough cyclists are riding hundreds of miles for a worthy cause.
If you can support their efforts by making a donation – no matter how big or small – via our Just Giving page, they would be so grateful.
The challenge is raising money for the Hardship Fund, currently supporting Loughborough students most adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
We hope you enjoy following the progress of our cyclists! We will share the final fundraising total and miles cycled via our website and Just Giving pages once the challenge ends.
If you have any questions about the appeal or would be interested in something similar in the future, please get in touch.