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Cleeve School pupil Louis Gaonac’h, 13, enjoying being out on the open road

All Areas > Sport > Cycling

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 1st July 2022, 10:30

Louis Gaonac’h with his dad Julien Louis Gaonac’h with his dad Julien

Louis Gaonac’h has been enjoying the warmer summer months more than most… and not because he wants to get a sun tan.

You see, 13-year-old Louis is a boy on a mission; for him it’s all about being able to get out and about on his bicycle and clock up the miles in what is his very personal marathon cycling challenge.

Readers of the The Local Answer online will remember that the Cleeve School pupil embarked on a sponsored 8,800 kilometres virtual cycling challenge at the end of last year, a challenge he has to complete by July 2023 if he is to raise the necessary funds to attend the World Scouts Jamboree in South Korea in the August of next year.

The first few months saw Louis cycling 16km every day on an exercise bike in the garage at the family home in Woodmancote but, much to his delight, the improved weather has given him the opportunity to embrace the open road.

“It’s nice that he can go out and do some ‘real riding’,” said his dad Julien, who accompanies him outdoors, “he prefers that.”

So where does Louis enjoy cycling most?

“My favourite rides since I  started the challenge were when I was in France staying with my grandparents,” he said. "I'm enjoying cycling, especially outside when the weather is good.”

Louis has so far cycled more than 3,000km so the good news is that by the end of the school summer holidays he will be approaching the halfway mark.

“He’s doing well,” his dad continued. “It’s very challenging but he seems to enjoy it. There have been some challenges along the way because he has to do it every day. He recently had a couple of scout camp weekends which took up a couple of days each time.”

So what did dad do?

“I did the cycling for him,” he laughed. “I can’t expect him to make up 32 kilometres, I did three of the rides and his mum did the other.”

And while Julien has been the driving force behind Louis’ cycling challenge, mum Catherine has been just as big a supporter as they look to raise the £4,000 that Louis needs to realise his dream of going to the world scouts jamboree.

The cycle challenge is expected to raise about three-quarters of that sum and young Louis has a number of other fundraising ideas too, even though it’s fair to say he has a jam-packed diary.

So what is the toughest part about the cycling?

“The hardest bit about it is finding time to fit it in when I have lots of homework and other sporting commitments," he admitted.

Louis, who plays football for Bishop’s Cleeve Rovers, is a member of Woodmancote Scout Group and was selected by the Scouts Association to go to the World Scouts Jamboree.

It takes place every four years and is attended by some 40,000 scouts from across the globe.

Anyone wishing to sponsor Louis should visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louis-gaonachjamboree2023

Other Images

Louis Gaonac’h out and about on his bicycle

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