The Ricoh Arena in Coventry hosted a world record attempt for a 24-hour cycling challenge to raise funds towards building a secondary school for poverty-stricken children in Kenya.
Twenty-three teams and individual cyclists (including some shoppers from Arena Park) cycled 1km each in a static relay in the E.ON Lounge at the Ricoh Arena on 21 June.
Angela Perkins, head of sales at the venue, said £30,000 of their £35,000 target had been raised to help the Memusi Foundation build the only secondary school within a 200-mile radius of the southern Kenyan town of Magadi.
“It was amazing and we will find out in six weeks if we have officially set a Guinness World Record,” she said. “It takes time for the paperwork to be ratified but we are hopeful we have achieved our aim.
“The world record attempt went so fast during the morning and because some people were cycling 1km in 43 seconds, we ran out of people.
“I went over to Arena Park and asked people who were doing their shopping to come over to the Ricoh Arena and cycle 1km which they did because many of them said it was on their bucket list to help achieve a world record. I am really grateful to them taking part,” she added.
The present record for the most participants in a static cycling relay within 12 hours is 379, which was set by Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Hong Kong) in Hong Kong last year.
A second challenge saw teams of six cycle through the pain barrier and the night in a 24-hour task to ride the equivalent of travelling to Kenya and back and the 12,236km goal was reached.
“During the challenge, up-and-coming singer Joe Maddox sang songs from his new album and we were also entertained by Phil Caffrey who is one half of band The Huers and two DJs – Kris Canarinho and the Ricoh Arena’s retail and logistics manager Alan Diaz who played upbeat tracks to ensure we kept going and a crew from The African Broadcast Network filmed the event.
“We had five spinning classes hosted by Vibe Cycle which everybody loved and I would like to thank Decathlon at Arena Park for supplying the Guinness World Record attempt bike and the Lifestyles Health Clubs of Coventry Sports Foundation for supplying the other bikes.”
Perkins said the team were just £5,000 short of their fundraising target but the Memusi Foundation will still be able to build a secondary school and sustain it for two years.
Matthew Norton, founder of the Memusi Foundation, said the 24-hour cycling challenge had been a triumph.
“What an amazing experience and achievement for so many people in what will be the first of many I hope,” he said. “The venue, service and entire event was delivered with exceptional professionalism and I have only heard wonderful feedback.”
For more information on Exhibition News Award winner Angela Perkins, check out her interview in the July issue.
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