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Epic charity cycle ride challenge stops off in European City of Sport

Ian O

A Coventry small business owner has completed a grueling 256 mile cycle ride to raise money for a charity that gives crucial support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

Ian O’Donnell, owner of Real Point Design and a Non-Operational Director at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), cycled from FSB HQ in Blackpool to its Westminster office in London.

The 256 mile journey was completed over three days and Ian stopped off at the Mocha Lounge in Allesley, Coventry where he was met by Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport at Coventry City Council.

The charity cycle ride was the idea of keen cyclist Ian to raise money for Rainbow Trust, FSB Chairman’s nominated charity for 2019.

Rainbow Trust provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness The charity enables families to make the most of time together; providing expert practical and emotional support, where they need it, for as long as it is needed.

Ian said: “The idea for the cycle ride was to help support the charity but also at the same time encourage others to get fit for business. The ride has been tough and taking on the challenge has been a huge commitment, but it has definitely been worthwhile knowing that Rainbow Trust and the families that it helps support will be benefiting from this. Rainbow Trust is a remarkable charity.

The challenge has also presented an opportunity to raise the importance for small businesses and their staff of getting fit for business.

Ian added: “The training and the cycle ride itself has allowed me to undertake regular physical activity which has been beneficial for me and the business. It is hard finding time as a small business owner for physical activity but it is vital that this is embraced as part of a busy working life.

“Exercise such as walking, cycling and running can all help in making you better prepared, be more productive and have other benefits such as less absenteeism from your staff. It has certainly helped me to be more positive and reduce stress levels. As a result I would absolutely encourage others to join in with the FSB campaign and get fit for business and there has never been a better time with Coventry being the European City of Sport in 2019 and this year also being the year of wellbeing across Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport said: “I was delighted to meet Ian and to hear about his epic bike ride as we celebrate being European City of Sport. Our year has two main aims – to celebrate sporting achievement and to encourage people to build physical activity into their everyday lives.

“We know that being active supports improved physical and mental health and it was good hear Ian talking about how getting active has also led to improvements in his business.

“I hope he goes on to raise lots of money for the rainbow trust – a wonderful charity that does some excellent work.”

FSB is well on its way to reaching its grand total target of £22,000 this year for Rainbow Trust.