Blazing Saddles… 1,000 miles in 13 days!

28 Mar 2011 14:26:54.580

PA 101/11

When staff at The University of Nottingham were asked how they felt about teamwork, a gruelling 1,000-mile bike ride might not have been what they had in mind…

However, Vice-Chancellor Professor David Greenaway persuaded nine of his colleagues to join him in taking on the challenge and they are determined to cycle the length of Britain in just 13 days.

The ‘Life Cycle’ team will ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise funds for the University’s Sue Ryder Care Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care, while marking the build-up to the autumn launch of the University’s £150 million fundraising campaign — the largest in the institution’s history.

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A massive £30,000 has already been pledged by individual sponsors but the team intend to raise much more.

Professor Greenaway — thought to be the first Vice-Chancellor to make a personal commitment of this kind to a fundraising campaign in UK Higher Education — said: “We wanted to do something that would make an impact, showing our commitment to the Sue Ryder Care Centre and challenge ourselves at the same time. A cycle ride, and the theme of ‘Life Cycle’, seemed perfect.

“Raising funds to support this cause will make a difference to many who have the misfortune to require palliative care and contribute to finding ways to make their final months as dignified and comfortable as possible.”

The Vice-Chancellor is keen for friends, former students and supporters to join the journey when the team cycles from University Park to the Sutton Bonington Campus on Saturday 3 September, while he is confident that the whole team will finish the ride.

He said: “Before the ride, the most challenging aspect will be fitting training into an incredibly busy schedule. Once on the ride, getting back in the saddle each morning will be hard. But, with good team motivation, key milestones to aim for and a compelling cause, I am sure we will be successful.”

Students at the University have thrown down the gauntlet by cycling 3,000 miles on exercise bikes in aid of Comic Relief. Organised by Karnival, a Students’ Union society which last year raised a record £1.4m for charity, the 50-strong team took it in turns to cycle the equivalent of Nottingham to Nigeria on exercise bikes between Monday 13 and Friday 18 March.

Professor Greenaway believes both challenges reflect the commitment to social responsibility which was part of the University’s founding ethos and strengthens its long history of fundraising by staff and students.

“The support the University provides is not always financial; the time, effort and expertise invested in community engagement and volunteering activities by our staff and students is a source of real pride to me,” said Professor Greenaway. “‘Giving back’ is part of our social conscience, and we are fortunate to have a University community in which this thrives.

“The Nottingham Campaign is ambitious and I hope people will engage in whatever way they can. For me personally, it is very important to be at the heart of this. I hope others will look at what we are doing through ‘Life Cycle’ and believe they too can do something.”

The ride will begin on 27 August. To support the Vice-Chancellor and his team, find out where the money will go or see a provisional route, please visit: This site will be regularly updated during each step of the team’s journey.

—Ends —

Notes to editors: Please see the full list of staff taking part below:
• Professor David Greenaway — Vice-Chancellor
• Professor Karen Cox — Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Staffing and Community
• Mrs Ann Greenwood — member of Council since 1999, Chair of the Audit Committee
• Mr Chris Jagger — Chief Estates and Facilities Officer
• Professor Nick Miles — Provost & CEO, University of Nottingham Ningbo China
• Dr Andrew Noyes — Professor of Education
• Mrs Kate Robertson — Director of Development and Alumni Relations
• Professor Chris Rudd — Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement
• Mr Steve Wright — University Driver
• Professor Neville Wylie — Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

More information about the Sue Ryder Care Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care can be found at:  

The Centre led by Professors Jane Seymour and Karen Cox has a special collaborative relationship with the charity Sue Ryder Care, and is pleased to be able to share the name of this key provider of palliative and neurological care. For more information about the charity, please visit  

The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:  

More information about the Sue Ryder Care Centre for the Study of Supportive, Palliative and End of Life Care can be found at:  

Story credits

Harry Waddle

Harry Waddle - Students Communications Officer

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 823 2353 Location: University Park

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