Pupils from Oasis Academy John Williams in Bristol have successfully kick-started a cycling challenge which will see youngsters across the city cycle 7,402 kilometres in just eight weeks.
Using static bikes, Oasis Academy John Williams began the challenge by cycling the first leg of the journey which is backed by Bristol-based IT, managed print and document technology provider ITEC.
From the West Country the pupils cycled the equivalent distance of a journey down to Dover, and then from Calais south along the length of France to reach their final destination of Jaca in north-eastern Spain.
The students reached their target distance in just five days.
The Bristol to Uganda cycling challenge involves all eight Oasis Academies located in Bristol: Secondaries John Williams, Brislington and Brightstowe and primaries Connaught, New Oak, Long Cross, Bank Leaze, and Marksbury Road.
The Academies have embarked on the challenge to raise funds for an IT container classroom at partner Oasis primary school in Musoto, Uganda.
They hope to raise £7,402 – or £1 a km – for the school which is situated in an area where just 10 per cent of young people move on to secondary education.
Former Olympic runner Derek Redmond was on hand at Oasis Academy John Williams to ride the first kilometre.
ITEC is fully supporting both the challenge and the project thanks to a donation of £10,000.
ITEC’s cash has enabled Oasis to buy and transport the container. All funds raised will go towards fitting out the container, installing solar panels and providing state-of-the-art computer equipment.
An ITEC team will travel to Uganda in January to help install and configure the IT equipment.
ITEC chief executive Nick Orme said: “We have been a supplier to Oasis for eight years and work with the academies in lots of different ways.
“When we heard what Oasis wanted to do – take a container classroom to an area with now power or internet connection – we decided it was an exciting opportunity with which to get involved.”
The challenge roadshow spends a week at each school where pupils have to cycle a set amount of kilometres to make up the 7,402 total
It runs until Friday, December 2 when Oasis Academies’ chief executive John Murphy will ride the final kilometre at Brightstowe Academy.
Oasis Academies Chief Operating Officer John Barneby said: “This challenge is about giving students in Uganda the chance to have an enhanced education as well as helping to transform their community.
“Oasis Academies in Bristol are partnered with Uganda – hence our idea of taking a container and turning it into a classroom for Oasis Academy Musoto.”
“We are hugely grateful to ITEC, who immediately jumped on the idea and decided to run a fundraising programme to make this happen.”
World Champion athlete Derek Redmond, now a motivational speaker, was at Oasis Academy John Williams to ride the first kilometre and offer the students a few training tips.
He said: “I was more than happy to help launch such a brilliant event – cycling 7,402 km in eight weeks is a massive challenge, but I am sure pupils from the eight academies have got what it takes to succeed.”
Oasis Academy Musoto head teacher Alex Tool said: “I am grateful that we are going to get the first IT class in our community of 35,234 people.
“For the first time children in our community will get to know basic computer skills, preparing them for a hopeful future.”
Notes to editors
Now in its 28th year, ITEC has been supplying Managed Print Services and Document Capture and Workflow Solutions to organisations both large and small, situated across a wide range of industries.
Headquartered in Bristol and with offices throughout the UK, ITEC is committed to helping organisations achieve more from their technology by providing smarter IT solutions.
ITEC has expanded its product portfolio to include: Hosted and On-Premise Infrastructure, Unified Communications, Connectivity, IT Support, Business Continuity and Asset Finance.
This expansion comes as an increasing number of UK businesses are viewing their IT infrastructure as a strategic priority in a bid to realise organisational-wide benefits.
ITEC was in 2016 appointed ‘official document technology supplier’ to the Sahara Force India Formula 1™ team.
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