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23 February 2018

The Race is On! Staff at the Defence Department Race Alumnus to Sierra Leone

A team of enthusiastic cyclists are racing Lieutenant Colonel Kenn Bannister on his motorbike expedition, covering over will cover 7000 km to beat his arrival time on static bikes to help raise £50,000 for King's Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP)

A motorbike and helmet with King's logo, at the Defence Academy
A motorbike and helmet with King's logo, at the Defence Academy

A Collective Commitment to Serving Society 

A team of enthusiastic cyclists from the Defence Studies Department are racing Lieutenant Colonel Kenn Bannister (MA in Defence Studies, 2010) on his motorbike expedition from King’s College London to Sierra Leone.  Mrs Danielle Macdivitt, Dr Deborah Sanders, Helen Stratford, Head of Sports and Fitness and Ross Wilson, WO1 RSM will cover over 7000 km to beat his arrival time on static bikes, in dedicated classes and ad-hoc spinning each donating a minimum of £1 for each session completed.

Mrs Danielle Macdivitt, explained, her motivation for instigating the challenge,

“This expedition immediately caught my attention as it’s for such a good cause and the expedition itself sounded highly difficult and risky. It has also been a great Health and Wellbeing initiative, encouraging people to classes who previously didn’t attend.”

Dr Deborah Sanders, Reader in Defence and Security Studies at the Defence Studies Department said,

“I decided to lead some of the charity spinning classes because I wanted to do my small bit to help ensure that the progress Sierra Leone has made, over the last decade, in building a nation that can withstand crisis, and, begin to lift its people out of poverty, continues. "

Lt Col Bannister is riding solo, across six countries and the Sahara Desert to fundraise £50,000 for King’s Sierra Leone Partnership (KSLP). The trip is designed to raise funds to pay for five specialists to be sent from the UK to work with partners, including the main tertiary hospital, in Freetown.

By supporting Lt Col Bannister to achieve his aspirations, colleagues at Defence Studies are contributing to the health of the international communities that King’s strives to support.

“The race has brought people from different departments; military, civil servants and contracted staff together from across the Defence Academy.  On a personal note, since swapping my combats for a Half Lovat uniform I’ve missed the absence of physical pain in my daily life!” - WO1(RSM) Ross Wilson Royal Marines

Professor Wyn Bowen, Head of the School of Security Studies said,

"Kenn's bike challenge is a fantastic example of colleagues coming together to support a very important cause but having some fun in the process. We are very proud to have such a diverse community in the School, and to work with colleagues across the College on initiatives like this, which are such a clear illustration of our collective commitment to serving society alongside working together in the classroom."

Follow Kenn on Twitter ‪ @KCLtoKSLP and Facebook @kslpfundraisingexpedition

You can make a donation, no matter how small, to his Virgin Money Giving page:


About King’s Sierra Leone Partnership

The King’s Sierra Leone Partnership was established in 2011, with an in-country operation based in Freetown since January 2013. The partnership aims to support the strengthening of Sierra Leone’s health system by working with partners to develop training, clinical services, policy and research. The team work by invitation, responding to the needs of their partners. The partnership is long-term and is based on reciprocal learning and mutual benefit. More:

In this story

Deborah Sanders

Reader of Defence & Security Studies

Danni MacDivitt

Information and Reporting Manager