Coach trip: University fitness manager in charity drive to meet the Pope

Posted by pt91 at Jun 08, 2012 01:36 PM |
Roadtrip from Leicester to Rome to benefit local charity Wishes 4 Kids

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 8 June 2012

Mark Simmons, the Fitness Manager at the University of Leicester’s Sports Centre, has left behind his duties on the gym floor to take part in a pan-European roadtrip for charity.

This morning (8 June), Mark joined five other drivers in three Alfa Romeos (one red, one white and one blue in honour of the Jubilee Year) taking part in the charity drive from Leicester to Rome.

The drive is for local charity Wishes 4 Kids, and will mark the 10th anniversary of the charity which was launched to grant a ‘wish’ for Leicestershire children of eighteen years and below who are life-limited, terminally ill, or have suffered severe mental/physical/emotional trauma, or those who have been abused or diagnosed as HIV positive.

The team left Humberstone Gate, Leicester, at 8am today, waved off by Filbert Fox, Alan Birchenall & Muzzy Izzett, representing Leicester City Football Club, before heading on to their trip through Europe. En route they will stop for meetings with Luzern FC, the mayor of Milan and Milan FC, AS Roma FC, the Mayor of Rome and finally an audience with the Pope on 13 June, where Pope Benedict XVI will grant a blessing for the children and the charity.

The team are then due to complete the return journey arriving back at the King Power Stadium Leicester at 11am Saturday 16th June.

Updates on the team’s progress will be posted on Twitter at @Wishes4Kids

Mark said, "It's a great honour to be involved in the drive and be able to support what is an outstanding local charity that does so much for local children.

“The drive will be a wonderful adventure and a huge challenge for us all but is just the tip of the ice berg in comparison to the charity's goals. I would like to thank anyone who has donated so far, and thank anyone in advance for any further donations"

You can donate to the cause at

More information is available at

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