Charity bike ride takes centre stage

Phil Clarkson, front, pictured at Centre Stage Dance Studio in Cleckheaton where he participated in a fund raising Zumba night.
Phil Clarkson, front, pictured at Centre Stage Dance Studio in Cleckheaton where he participated in a fund raising Zumba night.

ONe man’s quest to raise money for a 500km bike ride through South East Asia has been given a huge boost.

Phil Clarkson, 41, set he was over the moon after a Zumba class organised by the Elaine Howarth Centrestrage dance school raised more than £320 for the British Heart Foundation.

Phil, who is Cleckheaton’s street sweeper, is setting off to Vietnam for the gruelling ride through stunning vistas, in aid of the charity that he has always held dear.

The dance school donated the proceeds of their mid-week Zumba class towards Phil’s fund raising target, meaning he is now less than £550 away from the grand total.

“It was a great turn out and, more importantly, we raised a £320 on the night, which is way beyond my expectations,” Phil said.

“One donation alone from the Yorkshire Building Society was for £100. It was fantastic.

“Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I want to say a big thank you to Elaine and the instructors, as well as everyone who took part. I’m very grateful.”

Before he sets off in five weeks’ time, Phil is busy training on his bike for the ride, to improve his stamina for the hilly route.

He said: “Training is going really well and I’m looking forward to it.”

Elaine Howarth added: “Everyone enjoyed themselves and had a good work out. Amanda Hulley and Rachael Wilson helped me take the class and they were brilliant as well.”