‘cycling legend’ launches whole-school fundraising initiative

Tuesday November 16, 2021

Last year, in a first for the college, Concord launched a unique whole-school fundraising challenge – hosting a virtual cycle to Lalibela Primary School in Ethiopia. The challenge, ‘Pedal 4 Lalibela’, which was a route of 8672km to be cycled and rowed (covering no less than 14 countries, as well as the English Channel and Red Sea), was designed by Geography teacher, Mr Steven Cale, and Biology teacher, Mr Matt Rawlinson. The aim was to raise money for Concord’s school charity, ‘Soil of Amhara’, which was set up in 2019 by Mr Steven Cale, Mr Angus Grant and Mr Edward Coward. By the end of the challenge, Concord had surpassed £3500 – enough to refurbish four classrooms and other school facilities, for the 1900 students studying at Lalibela. You can read the full story by clicking here. For the second year in a row, Concord is embarking on a whole-school fundraising challenge, ‘Ride the Great Green Wall’ – which was launched yesterday afternoon by Principal, Dr Michael Truss and local cycling legend, Mr Dave Mellor. Mr Mellor is an ex Great Britain Cycling Olympic and Paralympic Team Manager, and founder and joint-owner of Dave Mellor Cycles in Shrewsbury since 1985. Mr Mellor also works with Concord’s Sports Department servicing bikes and working with students. The latest fundraising challenge will consist of just under 9000 km in total, with Concord’s students and staff virtually travelling across the African Sahel region, following the famous line of ‘The Great Green Wall’ of tree planting. “The route will take Concordians from Dakar to Djibouti, traversing 14 countries en-route” said charity Co-Founder, Mr Steven Cale. “Along the way we will encounter 4 great rivers and each boarding house in the College will row 100km collectively on their nominated river” he added. Earlier this afternoon, Dr Truss and Mr Mellor together covered 12 km on cycling bikes outside of Concord’s Main Hall, as the student-body and staff gathered, spectated and supported. Speaking of the event, Mr Mellor said: “Last year, it was a great shame that not all students could attend or spectate because of Covid-19, so having everyone attend this time was extra special. “To get the whole school out together, cheering and celebrating this meaningful initiative, it’s fantastic – it certainly makes you want to try that little bit more!” All funds raised through donations to take part at the College – or just to support – will go to the school charity, Soil of Amhara, whose key aim is to release the potential of young people in the impoverished Amhara region of Ethiopia. Said Mr Cale: “Specifically, this years' funds will go towards a community forestry initiative to supplement rural incomes and restore native woodland. “Money will also be going to rural primary schools to improve their building facilities. “Following last year’s generous donating and amazing engagement across the Concord community, we hope to raise £5000 which will enable us to plant the forest and help 3 more schools in the region.” Please click here if you would like to securely donate. You can stay up-to-date with Concord’s progress on the ‘My Virtual Mission’ page. Why not take part by tracking your cycling or rowing distance too? You can submit your distances via screenshots and submit your selfies to alumni@concordcollege.org.uk.