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Students' cycling challenge for ex-Costessey teacher

PUBLISHED: 18:30 03 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:11 02 July 2010

David Bale

A tragic teacher's widow said today that two cycling students fundraising in his memory had made her feel "enthusiastic" about something for the first time in more than three months.

A tragic teacher's widow said today that two cycling students fundraising in his memory had made her feel “enthusiastic” about something for the first time in more than three months.

Costessey High School teacher Luke Day, 31, drowned earlier this year on honeymoon while trying to save his wife after a storm capsized their boat on the River Nile in Egypt.

On Saturday Sophie Day waved goodbye to her husband's former A-level students, Tom Mitchell and Richard Kennett, who are travelling by train from Norwich to Scotland and then cycling the Land's End to John O'Groats route in Mr Day's memory.

Mrs Day, 32, who lives off Unthank Road, Norwich, said: “While I'm not feeling too good, what these boys are doing is one of the first things that has made me enthusiastic about doing things since Luke died.

“It has also given me the motivation to get back on my bike for the first time.”

She and her husband were keen cyclists and he had always told his students that he wanted to cycle the Land's End to John O'Groats route, she said.

She plans to join the teenagers on the last leg of the cycle ride from Bristol to Land's End, and added: “I'm really proud of what they're doing. I cannot believe they have got the initiative and wherewithal to do this. I feel so proud they felt so inspired by Luke to do it.”

Mrs Day, who is a research scientist, has set up a fund in her husband's memory called the Luke Day Adventure Fund, which aims to aid children to take part in adventurous activities, and the boys will be the first to raise money for it through their ride.

Tom, who is from West End, Costessey, said Mr Day had always told them he wanted to cycle the route, which is expected to take two weeks with the teenagers needing to average about 70 miles a day over 13 days from Scotland to Cornwall.

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

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

Following the bike ride they set out for a tour of Egypt, but while on a felucca sailing boat on the Nile they were hit by a storm and Mr Day lost his life on January 18. Mrs Day and three others on the boat managed to swim to safety.

to keep up to date with the boys' progress, visit www.hero4aday.blogspot.com.

If you would like to donate to the Luke Day Adventure Fund, send cheques to Costessey High School, Middleton Crescent, Norwich, Norfolk, NR5 0PX.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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