A teenage school pupil was one of 27,000 cyclists taking part in the 54-mile London to Brighton bike ride recently – and admitted to his mum that it was much harder than he expected.
14-year-old Lewis Barton from North Watford was raising funds for his school’s support of Rwanda, and finished the course in just under six hours.
Mum Lorraine Rogers, PA to the MD at Citygate Automotive, was waiting at the finish line for Lewis, and said he found the ride really quite difficult.
She said: “I was so proud of him. There were very few youngsters taking part, and I think for Lewis to have wanted to do this, and raise money for someone else, is really quite amazing.
“He started training when he was just 13, giving up his evenings and Sundays. He was really very well prepared, but I think it was some of the hills on the actual day that took it out of him, and he said it was harder than he expected it to be.”
Lewis has already raised £520, with more sponsorship still to come in.
Lorraine added: “My bosses at Citygate were brilliant, and as a company sponsored him £200. On top of that, lots of my colleagues sponsored him individually, and we are ever so grateful for their support.
“Also, Citygate Colindale loaned me a bright orange VW Combi Van to take Lewis and his bike down to the start at Clapham Common – you couldn’t miss us the van was so bright!”
Lewis is a pupil at St Michael’s Catholic High School in Watford, which has an on-going charity project playing a major part in the healing process for the people of Rwanda. Over the last few years, students, teachers and parents have provided funds to set up co-operatives for HIV/AIDS patients, buy livestock and medical equipment, build houses and a clinic, install a solar electricity system and pay for the schooling of orphaned children.
The Year 9 pupil decided he wanted to do some fundraising of his own, under the school’s ‘doing something for someone else’ awards category, and after completing the cycle ride, he received a round of applause in school assembly. Joining him on the challenge were his dad Gary Barton and three other family members, riding under the name Team GB 2012 in aid of the British Heart Foundation.