About Viking Challenge
How It Started
In 1995 the staff and parents of Redmile CofE School decided that it would be more effective to organise one big fund raising event than having lots of small ones across the school year (as is typical in many schools). A parent from Redmile came up with the idea of using the local section of the Viking Way, an ancient track-way originally linking Newark and Stamford, as a means of raising much-needed funds for the school. In the first year 98 cyclists completed the circuit, raising £580 – and so The Viking Challenge was born. However no one could have guessed then just how big it would get.
Viking Challenge Today
Now celebrating its 24th year the Viking Challenge:
- attracts over 1,400 riders from all over the country
- is one of the UK's largest amateur off road cycle events
- has had over £500,000 donated for the school and our charity partners since it began in 1995
- needs over 150 volunteers to run and man the event on the day
- serves nearly 5,000 cakes, bananas and chocolate bars to keep cyclists fuelled up on the way round!
The event is open to everyone, young and old, teams and individuals, both serious and fun cyclists - and Vikings! The combination of the serious physical challenge with our warm hospitality has proven to be a winning formula; with riders and volunteers coming back year after year.
Taking in the fabulous Vale of Belvoir countryside riders have access to a route not usually accessible to the general public and with lots of well-stocked refuelling stops along the way – our cakes are almost as famous as the challenge itself – it really is a unique cycling experience.
Making a Big Difference
Our small village primary school benefits enormously from the funds raised through the Viking Challenge. In recent years, the opportunities to enrich the curriculum have been immense with weekly French and music lessons, visiting dancers and puppeteers and many school trips just a few of the activities funded by monies raised.
The money raised in 2012 funded a new learning resource area. The 2013 and 2014 events supported an upgrade to the IT equipment used by pupils by purchasing iPads and laptop computers. Funds raised in 2015-16 contributed towards the creation of a cooking room and added to the number of iPads available to pupils.
Each year we choose a charity partner to whom half of the total monies raised are given. Often the charity is suggested by a parent, or local resident and charities that have benefited include: Multiple Sclerosis Society, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, National Meningitis Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Leukaemia Research Fund, Mencap, NSPCC, Macmillan Cancer Relief, Help the Hospices, When You Wish Upon A Star, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and The Kinder Trust.
Viking Challenge Committee
A diverse group of interested people including parents and villagers, past and present, the head teacher from the school and a charity representative form the Viking Challenge Committee and are responsible for the organisation of each year's event. If you are interested in joining the committee, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.