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Costessey students raise cash in memory of tragic teacher

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:34 02 July 2010

Tom Mitchell and Richard Kennett cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End in memory of Costessey High School teacher Luke Day.

Tom Mitchell and Richard Kennett cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End in memory of Costessey High School teacher Luke Day.

Kim Briscoe

Two students who shared a love of cycling with their tragic teacher, who died on his honeymoon, have been inspired to cycle 1,000 miles in his memory.

Two students who shared a love of cycling with their tragic teacher, who died on his honeymoon, have been inspired to cycle 1,000 miles in his memory.

Costessey High School teacher Luke Day had always told his students Tom Mitchell and Richard Kennett that he wanted to cycle the Land's End to John O'Groats route.

Now the 17-year-olds will be setting out to complete the route to raise funds for a charity in memory of the French teacher, who drowned earlier this year while trying to save his wife after a storm capsized their boat during their honeymoon in Egypt.

Tom, who is from Costessey, said: “I spent many hours in his room at school, and nearly every lunchtime, speaking to him about bikes.

“We do a lot of long distance cycle rides and it was a route he had always said he wanted to do.

“He also said it was one we should do one summer holiday.

“As Luke never got to do it himself, we decided it something we wanted to do for him.”

Mr Day, 31, was a keen cyclist, who had cycled 2,800 miles across Europe to Istanbul as part of an extended honeymoon with his wife Sophie.

Following the bike ride, they set out for a tour of Egypt. While on a felucca sailing boat on the Nile, they were hit by a storm and Mr Day lost his life while pushing his wife and two other passengers to safety.

His wife is in the process of setting up a charity in his memory, which will aid children to take part in adventurous activities.

Tom, who is studying A-levels in physics and performing arts, and Richard, who is studying A-levels in IT, English and performing arts, will be raising money towards the charity.

The Costessey High pupils will be camping most of the way, with a few stops at the homes of family friends, and will be carrying all their gear on the cycles.

The pair have previous experience, having cycled and camped in the Lake District recently, and have spent weeks mapping out their route, which takes them through the hilly scenery of Scotland, the Lake District and along the border of Wales.

The trip starts on May 1 and is expected to take around two weeks, with the teenagers needing to average about 70 miles a day over 13 days, and they will be travelling from Scotland down to Cornwall.

Tom said: “I think the last few days in Cornwall will be the most challenging, but we are really looking forward to it.”

The students are hoping to put sponsorship forms in shops around Norwich and Costessey and will be manning a stall in The Mall on Saturday, April 24, when people will be able to sponsor them.

Anyone who can help with sponsorship, or can have a form in their shop, can contact Tom by calling 01603 742310 extension 306.

They have also set up a blog where people can keep up to date with the fundraising and trip, at www.hero4aday.blogspot.com/

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk.

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