Paralympian and Principal race for Roddensvale School

L-R Paralympic medallist James Brown with Roddensvale Principal John Madden. INLT-42-700-con
L-R Paralympic medallist James Brown with Roddensvale Principal John Madden. INLT-42-700-con

The Principal of Roddensvale School has set a new cycling record to raise money for a state-of-the art orthopoedic bed for disabled youngsters.

Mr John Madden smashed the previous Irish Masters Record for the M 50 Masters group at Manchester Velodrome on October 4, cycling an impressive 45.79km in one hour.

Despite describing the event as one of the hardest things he has ever had to do, keen cyclist Mr Madden successfully completed the challenge, and has so far raised over £600.

Mr Madden told the Times that the money raised will be added to a £2,000 donation by Ballycastle Cycling Club to help the school purchase a £5,400 active learning centre, which will provide a comfortable and secure support for young people with complex medical needs at the school.

“This will help young people with multiple learning difficulties, predominantly wheelchair users, who will be able to get out and be positioned with wedges on the bed,” he explained.

“The bed moves electronically and they can sit up and learn alongside their peers in a comfortable environment and they can also sit at a table. It’s also great for carers to be able to work with a young person either side of the bed. Some of our young people are tube fed and this comfortable and flexible bed makes everything easier.

“I had never done anything like this before and it was a daunting prospect but it allowed me to unite my passion for cycling with fundraising for the school.”

Also raising money for Roddensvale was visually-impaired paralympic medallist James Brown, whose feat saw him become the first registered blind person to compete in solo bike at the World Championship Competition.

James has raised around £500, and plans to establish a bursary to be awarded to the Roddensvale pupil who shows the greatest degree of initiative, resilience and endeavour in any area of life. The former Jordanstown School pupil commented: “I have an affinity with disabled young people as I have been there.

“This sets an example for future disabled athletes, encouraging them to think outside the box even if they are told they can’t do something. If someone tells me I can’t do something it spurs me on.”

To donate to Mr Madden or James visit their Virgin Money Giving pages.