Health Mentor’s ride inspires pupils

Hundreds of primary schoolchildren will raise money for charity and their own sports equipment inspired by Evolve Senior Health Mentor Brian Padden.
Each year-group at Nessfield Primary School in Keighley aim to ride 130 miles between them around the school playground on Wednesday June 29.
They will be aiming to emulate Brian, who last weekend cycled the same distance over three gruelling days across the Yorkshire Dales, raising money for Cancer Research UK.

“When I left on Friday, all the children and every member of staff were in the playground, giving a huge round of applause,” he said. “They all got very giddy and excited.
“Part of the work we do in primary schools as Evolve Health Mentors is to encourage and engage children in health activities, but also to inspire them to become healthy people and do sports and activities. Hopefully, seeing me off on my ride will inspire them to take responsibility for their own fitness, starting on Wednesday!”
The pupils will raise money for Tagtiv8 kits – a form of tag rugby for learning maths, English and spelling.
Brian’s own love of cycling was only born two years ago, when the Tour de France passed through Yorkshire.
“The race inspired me and I got on a bike for the first time in 30 years,” he said. “It’s a fantastic sport for people like me. I used to be a keen runner, but now struggle to run the distance.”
The 48-year-old’s epic ride began on Friday with 50 miles from Nessfield School to Hawes in Wensleydale with Evolve colleague Jack Halliday. “We got one puncture and got drenched twice in really heavy downpours,” said Brian.
The following day saw him complete 66 miles to Grassington in Wharfedale. “The first 33 were lovely, but the last 33 were the hilliest I’ve ever experienced. It was awful – and I got drenched again!” he reflected.
Sunday saw him finish off with a “gentle” 25 miles back to Nessfield.
“Overall, it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done,” he concluded.
To sponsor Brian’s cycle ride go to
Brian works for Evolve’s Project HE:RO (Health Engagement:Real Outcomes), which is recognised as a reliable solution to help pupils become happier and healthier, and take responsibility for their learning.
It does this by placing Health Mentors within schools for between one and five days per week, every week, to address the unique challenges they are facing.
Health Mentors focus on the social, physical and emotional wellbeing of pupils by delivering engaging activities inside and outside the classroom.