Brave Coventry teen to take part in BBC Children in Need and The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge - The Coventry Observer

11th Aug, 2022

Brave Coventry teen to take part in BBC Children in Need and The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge

Editorial Correspondent 16th Oct, 2020 Updated: 16th Oct, 2020

TV PRESENTER Matt Baker is once again joining a team of six young people to take on the 2020 Rickshaw Challenge for BBC Children in Need, including an 18-year-old from Coventry.

Brave Lewis Aldersley, who was diagnosed with bone cancer in July 2017, is one of the young people joining Matt and the team, as announced live during BBC 1’s The One Show last night (Thursday October 15).

After unsuccessful chemotherapy treatments the promising young footballer had his leg amputated in November 2017 and spent months in recovery, but he is now in remission and using a prosthetic leg.

Shortly after his op, Lewis was introduced to the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust who, with the help of a BBC Children in Need grant, run sailing trips for young people who have been treated for cancer. He is now playing football once again and riding a bike to train for the Rickshaw Challenge.

Lewis said: “I have always been a keen footballer, so having my leg amputated was devastating for me. Going on the sailing trip really helped me to re-build my confidence and self-esteem and I’m excited to take on my next challenge – The Rickshaw Challenge! – and prove to myself just what I can achieve!”

This year’s Rickshaw Challenge will have a slightly different format due to Covid-19 restrictions, but will still tell the powerful stories of its heroic young riders as it always has. Unlike in previous years, the challenge won’t be taking a public route and will be closed to the public, to protect the participants and the public’s safety due to Covid-19

The team plan to ride the equivalent of Matt’s first solo Rickshaw ride in 2011, from Edinburgh to London – 332 miles in a straight line – but from within the iconic grounds of ‘Glorious’ Goodwood.

This mammoth challenge starts on Friday November 6 and the team will have to cover a variety of terrains to reach their target each day, in time for a live broadcast into The One Show each evening at 7pm.

As part of the tenth anniversary of the Rickshaw Challenge and it’s legacy, Matt Baker will revisit riders and update The One Show viewers on their stories. Since the first Challenge in 2011, Matt has been accompanied by 45 young people and clocked up 4,315 miles travelling the length and breadth of the UK whilst sharing their remarkable stories with the Great British public. The Rickshaw Challenge has so far raised £35,373,713 for BBC Children in Need.

Matt Baker, who has been taking on this Challenge since 2011, said: “In a year that has been tough for everyone, I am delighted that we can bring the Rickshaw Challenge back for the tenth year. In the spirit of doing what we can, we’re doing our best to make it as safe as possible for everybody involved and that includes our supporters that would usually come out to see us. So this year instead of coming out on the streets we’re asking people to support us from the comfort of their own homes by tuning in to The One Show each evening.”

The team will be riding the rickshaw which was designed and built by McLaren Group engineers in 2018. This rickshaw was custom built to be accessible to a wider range of riders.

The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust has been receiving funding from BBC Children in Need for the last nine years and currently receive a three-year grant of £130,505 to deliver summer sailing experiences for children and young people who have had or are having cancer treatment. The sailing experiences help the young people to become more confident, develops their skills and improves their wellbeing and optimism for the future.

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