Scott completes the cycling leg of his mammoth fundraising challenge

Scott at Lands End.
Scott at Lands End.
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A former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil has so far raised more than £2,200 for under-privileged children in Africa after cycling 1,000 miles.

Scott McKenzie (21), has set himself the target of raising £3,000 for the charity Dig Deep, which helps to deliver clean water to struggling communities in Kenya.

And for the first part of his fundraising challenge, Scott, who went to Chatburn Primary School, cycled the length of the country from John O’Groats to Lands End, a total distance of around 1,000 miles in less than 10 days, earlier this month.

Speaking to the Clitheroe Advertiser after completing his cycle ride, Scott said: "The cycle itself was particularly difficult as I am not really a cyclist and I had never done a long cycle in my life before committing to cycle 100 miles a day for 10 days straight.

"Because of this lack of conditioning for cycling I developed a painful knee injury only 300 miles in to the journey before I reached Carlisle at the end of a gruelling day four which saw me cycle 118.5 miles.

"Thankfully my 74-year-old grandfather, who is a keen cyclist, had arranged to meet me in Carlisle and cycle the next 100 miles with me to Clitheroe. This was a particularly difficult day as we cycled up to an elevation of over 1,400 ft near Shap in the Lake District."

Scott's knee injury persisted as he reluctantly left Clitheroe to embark on the next 500 miles of the journey.

"By day eight I had developed a strain in the quad of my other leg which made cycling almost impossible and saw my average speed drop to around 10mph. Somehow I got my head down and nursed the injuries all the way to Lands End with the support of my mother and grandfather who cycled the last 110 miles with me. The last day was the most difficult as the weather decided to throw everything at me to test my metal including 55mph winds that blew the Atlantic ocean on us in Penzance to soak us in salty water."

Scott, whose mum is Lisa Barlow, formerly of Clitheroe, but who now lives in Mellor, and whose father is Alan McKenzie, who lives on Littlemoor Road in Clitheroe, will also be climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, standing at almost 20,000 feet tall, in the summer.

The 21-year-old has two brothers, Daniel McKenzie (26), who is the gym manager and head personal trainer at Maree Leisure in Gisburn, and Damien McKenzie (31), who plays for Chatburn Football Club.

Scott, who is studying for an MSC degree in banking and finance at Newcastle University, has always wanted to do some charity fundraising, particularly for underprivileged children in Africa, as his dad used to live in Africa and has seen first hand the poor living conditions there.

A keen cyclist, Scott has been working for Deliveroo, which have backed him throughout his journey. He has also received matched funding thanks to Clitheroe's branch of Barclays Bank.

"In the time it took me to cycle almost 1,000 miles my mother's partner and my father, who were driving the support camper van were updating my followers on social media," said Scott. "This saw my fundraising total rise from £628 to £2,200 over the course of the journey showing the generosity of my friends and family throughout.

"Their support and kind messages got me through the physical and mental exhaustion, injuries and mental breakdowns."

He added: "Deliveroo have been fantastic throughout the experience, giving away £50 in free credit that I could use for a competition and also putting £50 in my account after the ride to aid my recovery! They will also be sponsoring me £50 through my donation page.

"All in all this has made the pain, sweat and tears worthwhile and I can look back on the experience with fond memories and a great sense of pride! Now all that's left to do is climb the tallest freestanding mountain in the world!"

Scott is continuing to fundraise and anyone who would like to make a donation should visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/scottmckenzie1

Anybody who makes a donation via this link will be entered into a competition to win six months free gym/swimming pool/spa membership at Maree Leisure Centre, Stirk House, Gisburn.

For more details about Scott's challenge visit: www.facebook.com/roadtoafrica2018