Youngsters hit top gear in bike ride for Donington community centre

James Lievers, Jordan Cooper and Ollie Johnson fundraise for The Ruby Hunt Centre, Donington.  Photo (TIM WILSON):  SG220715-120TW.
James Lievers, Jordan Cooper and Ollie Johnson fundraise for The Ruby Hunt Centre, Donington. Photo (TIM WILSON): SG220715-120TW.

The Tour de France has inspired teenagers from south Lincolnshire to raise money for a Donington community centre.

About 12 youngsters aged 16 and 17 worked up a sweat to complete a 240-mile static bike ride, the distance between London and Paris, on exercise bikes at Definitions Health and Fitness Gym, Spalding, to raise money for The Ruby Hunt Centre in Donington.

NCS recruits (back) Jordan Cooper, James Lievers, Ollie Johnson, (front) Dan Bratcher and Karolis Lari take a break from their 240-mile static bke ride at Definitions Health and Fitness Gym, Spalding, where they were raising money for The Ruby Hunt Centre, Donington. SG220715-122TW

NCS recruits (back) Jordan Cooper, James Lievers, Ollie Johnson, (front) Dan Bratcher and Karolis Lari take a break from their 240-mile static bke ride at Definitions Health and Fitness Gym, Spalding, where they were raising money for The Ruby Hunt Centre, Donington. SG220715-122TW

The youngsters, including students from Spalding and Bourne Grammar Schools, Boston College, The Deepings School and Thomas Cowley are all candidates on the four-week National Citizen Service (NCS) programme backed by the Government.

School leavers and sixth-formers go away from home to learn teamwork skills, build confidence and develop business, organisational and management experience before coming back home to work on a community project.

Ollie Johnson (16) of Cowbit, who has just left Spalding Grammar School, said: “We’re on our third week of the NCS scheme after doing outdoor activities and spending a week at Nottingham University where we learned about business skills.

“The next two weeks are about giving something back to the community where we live and we were told to come up with ideas to raise money for The Ruby Hunt Centre.

The next two weeks are about giving something back to the community where we live and we were told to come up with ideas to raise money for The Ruby Hunt Centre.

Ollie Johnson

“I chose to do NCS because I have a long summer holiday so instead of just sitting around and wasting my time, I wanted to do something more productive and give something back to my community.”

The group will be in Donington this week helping to tidy up the village ahead of judging for this year’s East Midlands in Bloom competition.

But the teenagers also want to raise at least £500 for The Ruby Hunt Centre with a cake stall and sponsored keg wax.

Rachel Santry from Definitions said: “Our members thought the static bike ride idea was really good and the youngsters managed to ride 240 miles in six-and-a-half hours.

“All the students were really well-behaved, they worked hard on the exercise bikes and they got on well with all the staff and gym members.”