Le Defi 2017 raises over £4,000 for Radnor House Uganda

22nd Aug 2017

After the first day I was starting to wonder whether I had bitten off more than I could chew with this year's Radnor Challenge.

We were cycling towards Dover and were faced with yet another monstrous hill, my legs were burning after almost 10 hours in the saddle and we still had to negotiate our way on to the ferry and find the hotel in Calais on the other side. When we all finally arrived and had something cold to drink the team of 11 cyclists all had the same feeling, we might actually be able to do this.

The journey this year started almost 12 months ago following the inaugural event in 2016 to mark the renaming of the school. That trip was a similar distance to this year's challenge but over four days instead of three; this year was scheduled to be 271 miles by bicycle between Radnor Sevenoaks and Paris. That it was billed as a "flat" ride was somewhat deceptive as the team climbed and descended almost 4,000m in total and eventually covered virtually 300 miles thanks to some wayward mapping!

The aim of the challenge event, or Le Defi in French, was to raise money for our sister school in Uganda which we have been supporting for some time now. The school opened last year and currently has over 300 children ranging in age from 4 to 18.

The village of Namakoko is in one of the poorest parts of the country with no electricity and water only recently available after the installation of a local well. The Head Teacher, Moses Wabwire, is an amazing man who was thrilled when I informed him over Whatsapp of the fundraising efforts. He's keen on some more paper, pens and reading books, plus a simple laptop for completing the accounts and dealing with staff.

Moving this little village from one which educated children under a tree to one with a fully equipped school building in barely two years is a remarkable transformation and with this new fundraising the hope is to install a medical facility for the entire village to benefit from over the years ahead.

So what next for the Radnor Challenge? Ideas are coming in and if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them but one thing is for sure, it's very unlikely to be on two wheels again!