Olympic cyclist, Craig MacLean visits Beech Hall School in Macclesfield

Children at Beech Hall School in Macclesfield were given a treat when Olympic cyclist, Craig MacLean paid a visit. WORDS BY STUART ROBERTSON PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON

Children at Beech Hall School in Macclesfield were given a treat when Olympic cyclist, Craig MacLean paid a visit.

The event was in aid of the MJP (Michael John Pestana) Cancer Care Trust. The charity is dedicated to raising funds to find a cure to a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. It was established by Pam and John Pestana after their son, Michael, died of the disease.

Craig was joined by fellow Olympic cyclist, Matt Crampton from Manchester.

Former pupil at the school, William Bostock, suffers from Ewing Sarcoma and the event was set up in his honour. He attended Beech Hall School for 12 years. William helps to raise money himself and so far has raised �3,000.

His mother, Sara Bostock, was overjoyed at the school’s response to William’s condition. ‘It is wonderful that at times like this, people come together and want to help,’ she said.

It was equally wonderful that MacLean, who won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, was able to help raise funds for the trust. In a speech to staff and pupils he talked about his cycling past and how he is currently working with the Paralympic squad for their London 2012 games.

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He said of his visit to Beech Hall: ‘It was good, the children were really enthusiastic and the whole thing was very enjoyable. I thought that if I could lend a hand to help the fund, then it would be a good job done.’Craig let the children ride on two exercise bikes and compete against each other to find the fastest amateur rider.

Head teacher at the school, Geraldine Yandell, was thrilled by the whole event.

She said: ‘It has been a fantastic opportunity for the pupils, with the competition on the bikes and it is all going to a good cause.’The event was the idea of Ross Gordon, with help provided by Mike Harris, whose children attend Beech Hall.

Ross was grateful for all the help received. ‘Everyone we have asked for help has been very obliging,’ he said. Local radio station, Silk 106.9, was among those willing to help as well as several local cycling shops.

Pam Pestana was delighted by the support and said: ‘It’s events like this, and people like the Bostocks, who help us to reach the amount of money we hope to raise.’

All money raised by the MJP Cancer Care Trust goes to Leeds University Hospital’s research into the disease.



The print version of this article appeared in the May 2012  issue of Cheshire Life 

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