12 days, more than 900 miles, and one gruelling cycle ride for Debenham pool project

Jack Freeman, who teaches at Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School, is cycling from Barcelona to Debenham to raise funds for a community swimming pool project in the village. ANL-150713-154516001

Jack Freeman, who teaches at Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School, is cycling from Barcelona to Debenham to raise funds for a community swimming pool project in the village. ANL-150713-154516001

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Twelve days, more than 900 miles, for one gruelling cycle ride — which a Debenham primary school teacher hopes will bring a community swimming pool back to the village.

The outdoor pool in the north Suffolk village has been out of use since 2012. A group of parents and supporters began raising funds to build a new heated indoor pool at the school, labelled the Debenham Community Swimming Pool project.

Set to cost around £400,000, there is currently a £170,000 shortfall, while some grants require work to start on the project by the end of the year.

Jack Freeman, who teaches at Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School, will begin his trek with a dip in the 1992 Olympic swimming pool in Barcelona on August 2, before setting off on his challenge.

“My route then begins by passing straight up through the Pyrenees and I am very excited about the prospect of tackling some proper mountains,” he said. “ After that I travel up in France in a pretty much straight line, crossing the channel at Caen and arriving in Portsmouth in the middle of the night.

“The British leg is a bit more leisurely; a short cycle back to my parents in Surrey, then round to Stratford for a dip in the Olympic pool, before setting off to Debenham from there.”

To sponsor the cycle ride, visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/jack-freeman

n For more information, visit www.debenhamcommunityswimmingpool.org.uk.

If you can help the project, email contact@debenhamcommunityswimmingpool.org.uk

Barcelona to Debenham route

Day 1: Barcelona – Berga, 75 miles
Day 2: Berga – Tarscon, 75
Day 3: Tarascon – Grenade sur Garonne, 83
Day 4: Grenade sur Garonne – Marmande, 90
Day 5: Marmande – Angouleme, 100
Day 6: Angouleme – Parthenay, 90
Day 7: Parthenay – La Fleche, 80
Day 8: La Fleche – Argentan, 94
Day 9: Aregentan – Caen (40) – Portsmouth
Day 10: Portsmouth – West Byfleet, 55
Day 11: West Byfleet – Stratford, 55
Day 12: Stratford – Debenham, 75

TOTAL: 912 miles