The University of Birmingham’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer is preparing to complete a charity bike ride across Wales in aid of the University’s cutting-edge research and widening participation programme.

Professor Adam Tickell will join more than 3,000 cyclists for the annual Dragon Ride cycle challenge over the hills of South Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park on Sunday 10 June. He will be tackling the challenge to support the University’s Circles of Influence fundraising campaign and hopes to complete the long route of 128 miles and nearly 3,500 metres of climbing, but due to a shoulder injury, he may have to take the shorter, 80 mile route, with a 1,875 metre ascent.

Adam is raising money for the University’s diabetes research and the Access to Birmingham Scholarship (A2B) scheme, a programme designed to encourage talented students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education to gain access to the University. His target for the challenge is £3,000.

Professor Tickell comments:

“My daughter is diabetic, and therefore being able to support the University’s cutting-edge research in this field is something that is really important to me. I have always loved cycling and when a friend of mine asked me to complete the challenge with him, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to support a cause that I am passionate about, doing something I love.

“I am also very committed to supporting the success of the Access to Birmingham scheme which really captures the vision of the University as an agent for great transformation and makes such a significant impact on students’ lives.”

Launched in 2009, Circles of Influence is an innovative fundraising campaign to support research into critical issues that affect us all, to open the University to talented students regardless of their financial circumstances and to develop the University’s beautiful campus to provide world-class facilities for students, staff and the people of Birmingham.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are growing in children and young people and researchers at Birmingham are helping to develop a better understanding of these conditions. Adam’s daughter, Maddy Tickell, was 12-years-old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She adds:

“I think it’s really great that my dad is completing this challenge for diabetes research. When I’m okay, I don’t really notice my diabetes and I’m very lucky to have a lot of people looking out for me. I like to go riding with my dad in the summer and he is really excited about this race, I’ll definitely be there to meet him at the end; if he makes it!’ 

Sports scientists from the University’s renowned School of Sport and Exercise Sciences have been helping Professor Tickell with his intensive training and monitoring his fitness throughout to optimise his cycling conditions and keep him on track for his eight and a half hour target time.

Professor Tickell will be completing the challenge on Sunday 10 June and has already raised more than £850 towards his £3,000 target. If you would like to support his efforts, please visit or text ADAM02 followed by the amount you would like to give (e.g. ADAM02 £5) to 70070. Remember to Gift Aid your donation by replying to the follow-up text message.

Images of Professor Tickell’s training are available on request.

For media information, please contact Jo Kite, University of Birmingham Press Office via 0121 414 6681 or