Loughborough Alumni

Supporting the #LboroFamily

130 Challenge

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

Alumni and members of University staff cycled 130 miles, whilst adhering to government social distancing and daily exercise guidelines, during two weeks in May. 

Cyclists got involved from across the world, cycling more than 1,000 miles between them, and raising over £2,500 for the COVID-19 Emergency Hardship Fund. 

Thank you to the cyclists, and to everyone who kindly donated.

Meet the cyclists

Alumni and members of university staff cycled 130 miles each during the two-week period, aiming to raise money for our University Hardship Fund.

Cyclists who completed the challenge 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
  • Sarah Fisher, Engagement Assistant, Loughborough University, Loughborough
  • 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
  • Professor Rachel Thomson, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Loughborough University, Loughborough

A message from Ollie

Read Ollie's message

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.

Watch Ollie's video message.

Support the cyclists

Between them, the team cycled hundreds of miles for a worthy cause.

If you would still like to support them by making a donation – no matter how big or small – via our Just Giving page, they would be so grateful.

If you have any questions about the appeal or would be interested in something similar in the future, please get in touch.

Find out more about donating to Loughborough

+44(0)1509 228497

Hazlerigg Building
Loughborough University
Loughborough
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU  UK