Pedal power for hospice

Christopher Duff
Christopher Duff

A hospice boss who has only ever cycled to and from work is now gearing up for a 345-mile cycling challenge.

Christopher Duff, from Nether Edge, Sheffield, who is the chief executive of Rotherham Hospice, signed up for the challenge to raise cash to fund the facility, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary

“Last summer I borrowed my son’s bike to cycle the 11 miles to work from home in Nether Edge, about once each week. But that’s the extent of my cycling practise,” said Christopher Duff.

“However our Big20 Cycling Challenge will be a major fundraiser in this the hospice’s 20th year and I felt I had to step up to the mark.”

The 57-year-old dad of three, who normally swims to keep fit, will be among 50 cyclists volunteering to travel the 345-mile route from London to Paris.

“I admit I’m daunted,” added Christopher.

“I’m only just realising the enormity of it; my leg muscles are definitely not fit for purpose.

“But I’ve bought myself a bike and the proper cycling gear to get me motivated and I’m determined to live up to the image I now cut.”

Christopher has six months to shape up - and to raise the required personal fundraising target of £1,750.

He’s also hoping that a host of other Rotherham business leaders and other highly motivated people will be inspired to follow suit.

“If I can do this, then plenty of others can. I challenge other bosses to join me on the Big20 Challenge, or to encourage their staff to enter a team,” he added.

“I’m throwing down the cycling glove.”

Organisers hope the London to Paris event will bring in thousands during Rotherham Hospice’s 20th anniversary year.

Those taking part will leave Rotherham by coach on September 27.

The riders will arrive in Paris on October 2.

Sign up now for one of only 50 places at www.rotherhamhospice.org.uk.