Father and son’s coast to coast cycle challenge in memory of young teacher

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A Brighouse head teacher and his 10-year-old son completed a gruelling coast-to-coast ride in memory of a much loved teacher.

Graeme Genty, head at St Chad’s Primary School, Hove Edge, and his son James completed the 170-mile ride in memory of Sinead Broadbent, a former teacher and pupil at the school.

Family and her partner Jamie Robson set up Sinead’s Cancer Care which has now been granted full charity status.

The 24-year-old had battled cancer since 2014 and died peacefully in Overgate Hospice in January. She had undergone operations and rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Mr Genty, a keen cyclist, had been looking to do the coast-to-coast ride with his son and saw it as the perfect chance to raise funds for the charity that will benefit other charities and organisations helping those battling the disease.

“It was simply an amazing adventure for father and son alike,” said Mr Genty.

“My wonderful wife got on the case, booking the accommodation and from then on it was simply a case of getting miles in James’ legs and spreading the word for fundraising.

“Our target was to achieve £500 and we more than doubled that in the end which was amazing.

“James did incredibly well and had trained hard for the event, putting in the miles in advance, working hard with the coaches at the wonderful Kirklees Cycling Academy and was really inspired to raise as much money as we could for the charity – he kept checking the running total more than I did.

“We had great support from specific communities too, not least St Chad’s School and Middlestown Primary Academy school communities but also the congregation at St Anne in the Grove Church.

“They really got behind us and helped such a lot.”

Jamie and Sinead’s mum Sarah met the pair at the finish line in Bridlington

“I’d enjoyed the ride so much I instantly suggested that we make it an annual event and try to grow the ride (in terms of number of riders each year to raise funds for the charity – that’s the plan now for sure,” Mr Genty said.

“Sinead was simply a positive, determined and inspirational young woman.

“A breath of fresh air in school and someone always with a smile on her face,” added Mr Genty.

“I had committed to doing various rides for charity over the past few years and I’m always looking for my next cycling challenge.

“I’d mentioned to Sinead when I visited her in the hospice that I was looking for my next cycling challenge and so this seemed the perfect thing for me to do to combine the things I loved, with a tribute to a teacher who was very dear to us, and to support those charitable organisations who looked after her so well when she needed them.

“Sinead wasn’t just a teacher at St Chad’s. She had been a pupil here, had come back to support after school clubs and had been a very popular and active member of the local community, as had all of her family.

“When she came back to interview for the teaching job she blew away the competition and gave us the easiest appointment decision we’ve ever had to make.

“I just hope that this event can now grow into a real legacy to remind us of her every year.

For more details visit www.sineadscancercare.co.uk