THIS summer is certainly a big season for sporting events, with the London Olympics and football’s European Championship, but for one Leven man, 2012 will be remembered for cycling.
Paul Jennings (37), a former Buckhaven High School pupil, has teamed up with a group of five friends to take on a remarkable charity bike ride, linking the two biggest sporting events of the year.
Paul and his friends have organised Euro2Ldn2012, which will see them cycle continuously for 27 days to cover the 2012 miles (the route was designed to coincide with the year) between the European Championship Final in Kiev on July 1 and the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London on July 27.
As much as the group expects to enjoy it, the trip is about doing something special to remember their friend, Adam Cothill, who passed away last year, and to raise money for charity in his memory.
Paul, from The Broom estate, told the Mail: “One of my friends was on about doing a bike ride but I didn’t have time to take off work. Adam said he would do it but had an accident, and we decided to take the task on for him, and to film our journey as a tribute to him.”
Paul moved south to Kent at the age of 23 to pursue a career in acting. Most of his family remain in Fife and he has been relatively successful, doing some minor stunt work in films ‘Snow White’ and ‘The Huntsman’.
But despite being a bit of an action man, he is not sure anything can prepare him for what is ahead.
He continued: “It’s turned into a lot more work than I expected, but it’s the whole adventure of it all.
“I might hit a wall or two, at that point where I don’t want to go on, but I’m going to do it – the whole 2012.
“Adam’s memory will be a big part of it. It’s an adventure as well, because everyone is a character in their own right.
“I’ve just started training, so I’ve got a lot to be getting on with. We are all pretty fit guys but we are not professionals.”
THE Euro2Ldn2012 cycling team will take in Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium andFrance.
Leven man Paul Jennings and his five friends will then sail home for the last leg of the journey, which sees them cycle to the Olympic Park in Stratford in time for the opening ceremony, wearing the colours of the Olympic rings.
All the way, three cameramen will be shooting the trip, as they hope to make a short documentary film, while also uploading daily blogs after every leg of their journey.
You can follow them in July at their website www.cycle2012.webspace.virginmedia.com.
The group aims to raise £2012 for charities: The Prostate Cancer Charity, Help the Heroes, Street Kids, Paralympics Association, Talking Tandems and Brake. Details of how to donate are also on the site.
Paul added: “If anybody has any advice or wants to sponsor us, it would be great to hear from them.”