Trio ‘overwhelmed’ by support after cycle in memory of mum

Emma Nicholls, Remi Coventry and Celine Coventry
Emma Nicholls, Remi Coventry and Celine Coventry

The children of a school teacher who died from bowel cancer have raised more than £7,800 with a 280-mile cycle ride in her honour.

Martine Coventry was a French teacher at the Royal Latin School and she lived in Buckingham for almost 20 years.

Martine Coventry was a teacher at the Royal Latin School and she lived in Buckingham for almost 20 years. 'She died in July 2012 after battling with the disease so her daughter Celine, 28, and son Remi, 30, along with friend Emma Nicholls, decided to cycle from London to Paris, where Martine was born. PNL-140209-103935001

Martine Coventry was a teacher at the Royal Latin School and she lived in Buckingham for almost 20 years. 'She died in July 2012 after battling with the disease so her daughter Celine, 28, and son Remi, 30, along with friend Emma Nicholls, decided to cycle from London to Paris, where Martine was born. PNL-140209-103935001

She died in July 2012, aged 56, after battling with the disease so her daughter Céline, 28, and son Remi, 30, along with friend Emma Nicholls, decided to cycle from London to Paris – where Martine was born.

The trio arrived in the French capital on August 17 - on what would have been Martine’s 59th birthday - and smashed their sponsorship target in the process.

They were aiming for £4,350 but raised £7,834 to support Bowel Cancer UK.

Physiotherapist Emma and Remi, a translator, now live in London while primary school teacher Céline lives in Didcot.

Emma described the experience as ‘one of the best weeks of her life’.

She said: “The feeling and the atmosphere was indescribable.

“People were clapping and cheering and as we rounded the corner to the Eiffel Tower we could see all of our family and friends stood there to meet us, which was extremely moving.”

None of them owned a bike before training began 10 months ago.

But together they cycled for four consecutive days, overcoming multiple punctures, falls and getting lost.

Emma said: “Céline fell off her bike on to her elbow three miles from the hotel in Dover and we all went to sleep that night worried about her being able to cycle the following day.”

Céline’s bad luck continued the next day when her tyre completely burst and she had to switch bikes.

But the new bike played music through its own speaker which lifted spirits and powered the trio up steep climbs and into Paris.

Emma said: “The whole experience was one of the best weeks of my life and I would thoroughly recommend the cycle to anyone who was thinking of doing it.”

The group thanked all their sponsors and described the support they received as ‘simply overwhelming’.