This year is the sixtieth anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme, and individuals and groups are being asked to take on tasks and challenges as part of the ‘Diamond Challenge’ to raise awareness of the charity in this anniversary year. People have been asked to sponsor the challenges and the money raised is to be donated to the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Charity. This charity works to financially support underprivileged young people through the Duke of Edinburgh scheme. Mountain biker, Cameron Roche has achieved his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and is keen to give back to the organisation that has benefited him in so many ways.Advertisement
Cameron has a clear passion for mountain biking and is at his finest when cleaning, tuning, maintaining or simply riding his bike. When engaged in conversation about his hobby, he speaks with a clear passion and his face beams with joy. Unfortunately, a few months ago, he was diagnosed with a tumour in his shoulder which affected his physical stamina and ability to mountain bike ride. In April, Cameron travelled to Birmingham to have the tumour removed and is now well on the way to a full recovery. The operation has meant that he has had to give up his hobby this year in order for his shoulder to recover as it should. It is easy to imagine, he is most disappointed and annoyed about not being able to ride his bike competitively in this year’s season. Never one to be defeated or to sit still, Cameron has decided to rise from the ashes by taking on an immense personal challenge as part of the ‘Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge’ which will require him to quickly rebuild his abilities and skills having gone through the operation.
Cameron has therefore challenged himself to an epic three day mountain bike ride in the Lake District in August as part of the nationwide ‘Diamond Challenge’ initiative. The first day will see him ride the tracks of Whinlatter Forest Park which consists of a total of 28 kilometres of intermediate and advanced track. Day two will take place on the Borrowdale Bash Route which begins and ends in Keswick. Again, this is a 28 kilometre ride on advanced terrain and encompasses a full loop of Derwent Water. The final day will be a tremendous ‘one ascent, one descent’ challenge. This will take place on Skiddaw, a mountain which almost 1,000 metres tall. It is clear to me that this is a physically and mentally challenging three days, more so such a short space of time after a serious shoulder operation.
To help Cameron raise sponsorship money, a ‘Coffee Morning’ style event is being held with tea, coffee, cakes, bacon butties and games at Preston Minster on Friday 19th August from 11am – 2pm. Everyone is welcome and there is an opportunity to meet Cameron, talk about his challenge and sponsor his adventure.
If people are unable to attend, they are more than welcome to sponsor Cameron through his Just Giving page.