Football coach from Littleport tackles gruelling cycle ride to help club during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:21 19 May 2020

Simon Rampley (centre) will travel 366 miles on his turbo-trainer in Littleport, the distance between his home and Cornwall where he and his family would have gone on holiday. Here he is with son Jack (left) and daughter Millie (right). Picture: SUPPLIED/SIMON RAMPLEY

Simon Rampley (centre) will travel 366 miles on his turbo-trainer in Littleport, the distance between his home and Cornwall where he and his family would have gone on holiday. Here he is with son Jack (left) and daughter Millie (right). Picture: SUPPLIED/SIMON RAMPLEY

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A youth football coach whose family holiday was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic is aiming to cycle over 360 miles in under 24 hours to raise money for his club.

Simon Rampley plans to cover 366 miles on his turbo-trainer in his garage in Littleport on Saturday, May 23, the distance between his home and Cornwall where he and his family were meant to be staying.

Simon, a police officer at Ely Police Station and under 8s coach at Littleport Rangers FC, aims to complete the trek in just over 15 hours to help keep the club going during the lockdown and to fund new training equipment.

“I have done a lot of cycling but never done this distance before,” he said.

“We were due to go on holiday to Cornwall on Saturday, but it was cancelled. I coach at Littleport Rangers and they had a lot of events cancelled.

“The season finished early and we lost out on tournaments and fundraising events we normally do, so I decided to do something extravagant to raise as much money as I can for the club.”

So far, Simon has raised over £720 towards his £1,000 fundraising target, which has mostly come from the support of family, friends and work colleagues.

Having been a coach at Littleport Rangers since September 2018, the avid cyclist will begin his ride at around 3am with a television and snacks already prepared.

Simon will also allow passers-by to cheer him on through the day, and although it will be a tough challenge, he wants to give something back to a club that has given him much pleasure.

“I am over the moon with the support I have had so far,” he said.

“I have got a TV set up and at some point, I will open the doors for people to walk past and shout encouragement. I am really excited; I am also looking forward to the bath at the end already!

“I have been thinking about doing something for the club for a long time because it gives me a lot of pleasure and I like to repay and reward them financially.

“With the coronavirus coming along, it spurred me on to think this is what I wanted I do. It is going to be tough, but I am going to do it.

“Hopefully I will encourage others to give things a go and see if they can raise money, and let people know that the club will still be running at the end of this, and we will be there no matter what.”

To donate, visit Simon’s JustGiving page at https://bit.ly/2zNSu6Y.


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