Ironman challenger raises funds for school garden

Simon Nicholls, a parent at the Brook School did the Pembrokeshire Iron Man triathlon in September and is raising money for an area of remembrance in the school grounds. Pic Steve Robards  SR1634192 SUS-161115-114917001

Simon Nicholls, a parent at the Brook School did the Pembrokeshire Iron Man triathlon in September and is raising money for an area of remembrance in the school grounds. Pic Steve Robards SR1634192 SUS-161115-114917001

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A Crawley dad has vowed to complete his Ironman challenge next year raising money to create a memory garden at The Brook School in Maidenbower.

Simon Nicholls, 41, lives next door to the school and his daughter is in Year 1 there.

The Ironman Triathlon is a true test of endurance and not for the faint hearted. Earlier this year Simon successfully got through some of it, but injury prevented him from completely it.

He said: “I have done 5k and 10k (runs) and marathons and I wanted to do something more challenging, so I signed up to the Ironman. I didn’t really give it much thought.

“I did the swimming fine and 95 per cent of the cycling and then ended up in the medical tent with fractures in my foot. I never got to do the run so I wanted to do a marathon at some point.”

He is now training for the Brighton Marathon in April.

He has given the school his sponsorship money of nearly £800, topped up by £100 by his employer Nationwide. Next year, as part of the bank’s citizenship scheme, he and two colleagues will start work on the garden.

Headteacher Fi Dowley said they were amazed when they heard what it would entail. She added: “Our school council have asked for a garden of memories and a quiet place they can use to sit with their friends. They will be helping to choose the seating and work out exactly how it will look. Mr Nicholls and his company have kindly offered to clear the area where the garden is going and then we can begin to turn the children’s ideas into reality.

“We can’t wait to see how the garden will look and are so grateful to Mr Nichols for his extreme perseverance in this challenge.”