St John’s teacher Tom takes on challenge to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats

Written by Gerald Isaaman on .

Tom Nicholls with the bike that he will ride to John O'GroatsTom Nicholls with the bike that he will ride to John O'GroatsIn a bid to raise funding for the new all weather sports pitch at St John’s, Marlborough, assistant head teacher Tom Nicholls will be attempting to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats over nine days next month.

Tom's aim is to cycle 100 miles each day and so raise £5,000 in sponsorship. He will be cycling alone through 16 counties and staying overnight in youth hostels before setting out again at 7.30am each morning.

He has been a PE & psychology teacher at St Johns for 17 years, and has been in regular serious training for several months in order to take on the gruelling challenge.

“I am stunned and so pleased to have had so many sponsors already, and want to sincerely thank everyone who is supporting me,” Tom told Marlborough News Online. He decided to take it on as a way to help the school raise the funds needed to complete the school’s external sports facilities, which have been under development since the new school building opened in December, 2009.

“I have always enjoyed a challenge, and I realised that this would be something I can do that will support the school and at the same time enable me to achieve a personal goal” said Tom.

“The new school is a stunning facility for our students and for so many members of the local community, and completion of the school’s external sports facilities are crucial and are very close to my heart.”

The all weather pitch will be the next phase in construction of the external sports facilities at St John’s, and work will start once sufficient funds have been raised. The current phase, the construction of six tennis courts is almost complete, and provided there are enough dry days to enable the contractors to finish the surface, will be usable before the school’s summer break.

Already more than £1,500 has been raised with donations ranging from £2 to £500, and Tom hopes to meet his target of £5,000 before he sets off in late July. Many of his Sixth Form students and St John’s parents, as well as his friends and family are supporting the ride.

Anyone wanting to sponsor Tom can donate online at: or can donate by mobile phone (to donate £10 text SJTN99 £10 to 70070).

Alternatively, anyone wanting help should contact Kate Hunter at St John’s on 01672 519575 for more information.