Barlborough cyclist aims to break World Record to raise money for Scotty’s


Dominic O’Sullivan, from Barlborough in Derbyshire, is pushing himself to the limit this summer and has set himself the challenge of breaking the World Record for most miles cycled in a week, all to raise money for charity.

53-year-old, Dom, who had originally planned to complete the 2020 Race Across Europe, will have to average 297 miles a day to beat the current World Record which currently sits at 2078  miles. And for his efforts, he is hoping to raise as much money as possible for bereaved Armed Forces children’s charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity he has supported for the last seven years.

The charity was founded in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, after her husband Corporal Lee Scott was killed in Afghanistan in 2009 leaving behind two young children. As an avid supporter of the charity, Dom has timed his challenge to finish on the anniversary of Corporal Scott’s death, the 10th July, a day the charity dedicates to Lee’s memory and fundraising in his honour.

Starting on 3rd July, Dom will cycle laps each day from his basecamp at local bike shop, Bridgegate Cycles in Retford, who are supporting him with dedicated isolated spaces for refuelling and rest.

“This is the biggest challenge I have ever attempted!” said Dom. “I had already spent two years training for the Race Across Europe, which due to the current pandemic has been postponed until 2021. So, instead of letting that training go to waste, I decided to set myself a different challenge which will help with my training for next year but also raise much needed funds for Scotty’s, particularly at this difficult time.”

Dom, who previously served in the Royal Air Force as a Physical Training Instructor, has been raising money for Scotty’s for the last seven years and to date has raised over £10,000 for the charity. He said: “I tend to do something for Scotty’s every year and the challenge seems to get more ridiculous every year. I first got involved with the charity by playing in its first World Record Rugby game and since then I have done all sorts. It is such an incredible cause and it means a lot to me to be able to help support those children who at such a young age have already gone through so much.”

As part of his training for the big event, Dom is taking part in the inaugural Tour de Scotty, a 300- or 600-mile charity bike ride, organised by Scotty’s Little Soldiers. The challenge takes place throughout June to help boost fundraising for the charity during lockdown, with unlimited exercise now permitted under new Government guidelines.

Commenting on the challenge Dom said: “In this time of lockdown, Tour de Scotty is a great way to keep the awareness and fundraise for the charity, I hope people who don’t usually cycle get on their bike and get the miles in for Scotty’s. Who knows it may be the start of something bigger for you! It was for me!”

Scotty’s Little Soldiers does lots of things to support its members, including providing access to the very best health and wellbeing care, offering outstanding development opportunities through a range of activity and educational grants, and Scotty’s helps put smiles back on those brave faces by organising events, providing respite breaks, posting them birthday and Christmas presents and remembering the anniversary of their parent’s death.

Usually, at this time of year, Scotty’s would be arranging for the families, all grieving for a loved one, to go on respite breaks and attend special events, but sadly these things aren’t possible at present. In recent weeks, the charity has had to adapt to the current climate and has been using modern technology to arrange exciting virtual events and activities to engage with its members, ensuring them that in uncertain times such as these they are not alone. They’ve also been providing a high volume of wellbeing support to families who are suffering from enhanced anxiety and other problems due to the current health crisis.

Nikki said: “Dom has been an absolute hero to Scotty’s over the last few years, he’s raised an incredible amount of money and certainly isn’t afraid to challenge himself. I am honoured he has decided to time his challenge this year with Lee’s anniversary. The 10th July is always an incredibly difficult day for me and the children and every year we dedicate it to Lee’s memory – Scotty’s Day. At this difficult time, every penny raised from our fundraisers is helping us continue to deliver integral support to our members.”

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