Eight-year-old enters 26-mile charity ride in memory of late sibling (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Eight-year-old enters 26-mile charity ride in memory of late sibling
1:27pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
Eight-year-old Tom Blackwood took inspiration from Olympian Bradley Wiggins to cycle 26 miles in memory of his late big brother.
Tom lost brother Tim Greatley two years ago. The father-of-two died of leukaemia in February 2010 aged just 25, ten months after he was diagnosed.
Young Tom, who attends By Brook Valley C of E School in Yatton Keynell, decided to take part in cancer charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research’s annual Bikeathon in Bath to raise funds for its work.
But while other families took a more gentle ten-mile cycle for charity, Tom was determined that he would take on a more serious marathon-distance route of 26 miles.
His parents Fiona and Ben Blackwood, of Barley Leaze, Chippenham, are so proud of his achievement.
“He decided he was going to do it, and initially my husband and I had real reservations,” she said.
“There was an easier route for families, but Tom insisted that he wanted to ride the full 26 miles. “He’d made up his mind and was absolutely determined to do it. He is quite a fit, outdoorsy boy, but we were still quite worried. “In the end, he did it in three-and-a-half hours, and I think he would have been happy to go further.”
Tom was accompanied by his dad and so far has raised more than £100 for the charity.
Mrs Blackwood said: “I am very proud of him, and Tim would have been proud too.
“Tom would definitely do the cycle again next year, which is great.”
The family have completed several challenges for the leukaemia and lymphoma charity, as well as the Anthony Nolan Trust, since Mr Greatley’s death.
Mrs Blackwood said: “Tom does like playing on his bike, and he has gone on a couple of bike rides with his school around the Castle Combe circuit, so we knew he could cycle a fair way.
“He is a very determined person, and when he makes up his mind to do something, he will make sure it gets done.
“He was the only child to complete the 26-mile ride.”
She said Tom had certainly been inspired by Wiggins, who is the only cyclist in history to have won the Tour de France and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.
“He undoubtedly took inspiration from the achievements of Bradley Wiggins, and from his much-loved and much-missed brother,” Mrs Blackwood said.