Pedal power takes Banchory pupils all the way to Unst

A group of school pupils have completed a walking and cycling challenge that saw them cross the Highlands before travelling to the northernmost tip of Unst.

The week-long charity expedition started at Cape Wrath in the northwest before the S2 and S3 pupils headed to John O’ Groats.

They then crossed the Pentland Firth to cycle around Orkney before travelling to Shetland. From Sumburgh the youngsters from Banchory Academy, Aberdeenshire, cycled to Unst taking their adventure to the UK’s northernmost point.

The Banchory Academy pupils on their adventure in the isles with Paralympian Scott Meenagh (left).

While in the isles the young adventurers were hosted by Total E&P UK (TEP UK) in Brae where they were given a dinner and breakfast at the Moorfield Hotel, provided by Total.

The pupils completed the challenge as a fundraiser for two charities – ACIS youth and Blazing Saddles. ACIS is a youth counselling charity that supports people suffering mental health issues. Blazing Saddles helps disabled people get cycling by using different bikes depending on a person’s disability.

Colin Nicoll, depute rector at Banchory Academy said, “This trip offered our students a fantastic experience of the northern part of mainland Scotland and the Northern Isles. The pupils worked extremely well as a group and this was evident as they hit the ground running with a challenge that was physically demanding for students of their age. Accompanying the group and spurring them on was Scott Meenagh, former paratrooper and now full-time member of GB’s Paralympic rowing team who finished the event by hand cycle.”

TEP UK’s West of Shetland field operations manager, Simon Hare, added, “When I found out Banchory Academy from Aberdeenshire would be cycling across Shetland and camping in Brae, it was an opportunity for the Shetland Gas Plant team along with the Moorfield Hotel to show them some true Shetland hospitality. The pupils and their teachers have done a fantastic job raising so much money for charity and cycling with para-athlete Scott made it a truly amazing experience that will stay with them for many years to come.”

The pupils completed their feat last month – raising almost £15,000 for the charities.


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