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Newcastle fundraiser set to tackle ‘gradiator’ challenge for BT charity

News   •   May 05, 2016 13:25 BST

BT graduate, David Milligan, is getting ready to take part in a gruelling hiking and biking challenge in the Peak District to raise money for The Supporters Club, BT Sport’s charitable initiative.

David joins around 100 other BT apprentices and graduates for the ‘Gradiator’ challenge on Saturday 7 May, as they aim to complete a five mile hike, 35 mile bike ride, and finally a three mile, tough, muddy obstacle course – all in one day.

They’re hoping to raise more than £30,000 through sponsorship for The Supporters Club, a BT Sport initiative that aims to create a better future for young people facing tough challenges.

David, who is 24 and lives on Newcastle Quayside, said: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you so I thought I’d better give this challenge a go. And it will definitely be a challenge. I’ve done a few big hikes and cycle rides before but nothing on this scale. I’ve been training on the exercise bike and doing a lot of circuit training but it’s definitely going to be tough. Hopefully though, as well as raising money for a brilliant cause, I’ll have a great laugh with my team and get to know other graduates and apprentices.”

The BT apprentices and graduates will meet at Ashbourne in Derbyshire before setting off on a five-mile hike along the Dovedale to Bunster Hill walking route. They will then cycle along the High Peak and Tissington Trails before arriving in the Staffordshire village of Hollinsclough to tackle the tough, muddy obstacle course at Heathylee Farm.

Co-organiser Andy Lewis, who works for BT Security, said: “Everyone involved is busy putting in last-minute training so they can give the challenge their best shot. The fundraising total already stands at more than £10,000, and knowing that any money raised goes direct to The Supporters Club will no doubt provide that extra motivation for them when the going gets tough.”

Every year, the graduate community in BT organises a charity challenge to raise money for The Supporters Club. Last year, more than 1,200 donations helped them raise £27,000 as they completed a modern triathlon in Snowdonia.

John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said: “This is a brilliant challenge for our apprentices and graduates and one that I’m sure will raise a huge amount of money for a great cause. This is just part of a much wider fundraising and volunteering effort within BT and we’re always extremely proud of how our people contribute to their own communities in many different ways.”

Donations can be made through MyDonate, BT’s not-for-profit, online fundraising service for UK charities at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/gradiatorchallenge2016.

For more information about apprentice and graduate opportunities at BT please visit www.btplc.com.