Erin cycles The 12 miles of Christmas for her school

The online cycling community rallied to support a Lancashire schoolgirl's fundraiser.

Saturday, 2nd January 2021, 12:30 pm

A small Lancashire school’s novel Christmas fundraiser saw one pupil go more than the extra mile.

Scorton C of E primary school, near Garstang, decided it would mark not the 12 Days but "The 12 miles of Christmas" by asking pupils to walk, run or cycle a mile for 12 days.

Sports loving Erin Baillie, aged 10, decided to up the challenge.

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Super cyclist and fundraiser Erin, pictured with her thank you trophy

She opted to cycle 12 miles a day over a 12 day period and in the process raised more than £800 in sponsorship.

Headteacher Rebecca Scholz said: “ She’s champion of sport in school. She’s just blown us away with just setting herself such an amazing challenge and deciding she was going to go over and above for school and see what she could achieve.”

Originally the intention of The 12 miles challenge was to help fund Christmas activities at the 50 pupil school.

Rebecca said: “Because we raised quite a lot of money we’re going to use Erin’s £800 to buy reading for pleasure books for each of the classes. Erin is going to choose those books and have a sticker in the books saying this was provided by Erin and her amazing fund raising activities.”

Erin received her thank you trophy at the end of term

The year 5 student was also presented with a special thank you trophy in school.

Erin was accompanied by dad Paul on the rides, which took place in their home using turbo trainers and the cycling platform Zwift which provides cyclists with on screen avatars and virtual rides and races to take part in

Paul said: “I was really proud of her. She kept plugging away. She's very active and she cycles quite a lot outside of this. She committed to it and she didn't complain. Once she saw the donations coming in it spurred her on.”

Paul, also a keen cyclist, invited a few cycling friends to join in and word spread amongst the online cycling community about the fundraiser with people asking to donate. He said: " People have taken to it and just been so generous .We asked for donations and they just started to flood in. Most of the people who donated to the fund we’ve never actually met. The online cycling community dipped in their pockets.”

Erin loves cycling outdoors too.

As for the Zwift rides he said: "It's a great way of keeping fit especially when the weather's bad. We did one ride which was a two hour epic ride up the virtual Alps in France."

He added: "There are no cameras.... The faster Erin pedalled the faster the avatar on screen pedals. Multiple people can join in and can link up as if all riding together in a group."

Family and friend also helped with donations. To donate search for or see the JustGiving page here

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