During the Summer months a small group of young people cycled all over Bath and the surrounding area as the prepared to take on the challenge of a lifetime.

Bath Rugby Foundation teamed up with Leadership Challenges to offer ten teenagers the chance to take part in a two-week cycling adventure in South America.

The first Andes Challenge took place in November/December 2019 in Chile.

Leadership Challenges

Bath Rugby Foundation teamed up with Leadership Challenges to deliver the Andes Challenge. The team at Leadership Challenges have amazing experience of creating and delivering challenges which test more than just physical ability. 

The Andes Challenge is part of Leadership Challenges’ Young Leaders Programme, which delivers leadership and personal development for young adult groups and youth foundations, helping participants discover focus, build confidence and overcome obstacles.

The training and the challenge itself gave the young participants new skills and resilience to deal with challenges, boosting their chances of future success, both professionally and personally.

The training

The group met every Friday since the challenge was launched in April to prepare for the gruelling challenge ahead. Training involved teamwork, nutrition, leadership skills and, of course, a lot of miles in the saddle.

The riders became very familiar with the canal paths around Bath, taking on ever-increasingly long cycle rides in all weathers.

The young people taking part had a range of fitness and riding backgrounds, with one young man who had never learned to ride a bike. His first day in the saddle was the first day of training.

The challenge

The group flew off to Chile in November for two weeks during which the participants cycled 300 miles, experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

While the programme culminated with the 14-day trip,  the challenge had been developing skills all summer. 

The scheme is designed to grow young leaders in a challenging and fun learning environment, help build self-esteem, confidence, resilience and courage in young people.

Who took part?

The 10 young people selected to take part in the Andes Challenge were current or former Bath Rugby HITZ participants.

HITZ is a nationwide employability programme aimed at 16 to 19-year-olds who are, in in danger of becoming, NEET (Not in Education, Education or Training). Delivered at the Rec by Bath Rugby Foundation and education provider SCL, HITZ mixes sport and education to help set youngsters on a path to success, with a track record of help teenagers find employment or further education opportunities.

The 10 mentees were all been paired up with a mentor – someone with rich life and business experience. The mentors worked closely with their mentee and continued to help develop skills and resilience as the programme continues.

Email to find out more about the Andes Challenge