Pedal for Parky... on just one wheel!

Bobbie Porteous-Byrne
Bobbie Porteous-Byrne
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THIS little girl is going to prove she has a big heart.

Bobbie Porteous-Byrne, eight, from Bloomfield Road, South Shore, is planning to tackle the Illuminations route on a unicycle to raise money for Blackpool FC youth team coach Gary Parkinson.

The St Cuthbert’s Primary School pupil has decided to take on the challenge of riding the length of the Prom and back after hearing about how the coach is suffering from locked-in syndrome.


Bobbie learned to ride a unicylce last year when she joined Blackpool Circus School, based at Highfield Humanities College, and gained experience of her impending challenge when she completed Ride the Lights.

She said: “I did a 13-mile ride for Ride the Lights and I want to do it again for Parky.

“It’s something I want to do and it’s a bit different.

“It will be good and I’m looking forward to doing it with my friends from the circus school.”

Bobbie is also a keen footballer and decided to take on the challenge for Gary Parkinson after hearing about his condition during a football camp in the summer holidays.

Her father Peter Byrne, is helping his daughter to prepare for the event and will cycle alongside her on two wheels.

He said: “It’s brilliant and she has gone from a complete novice on a unicycle to be able to do this in a year.

“We are all hoping to raise as much as we can and if it’s a big amount it will be wonderful.

“At least we have done our little bit to help make a difference to his condition.”

Tonya Gridneff runs Blackpool Circus School and is backing Bobbie to complete the challenge.

She said: “It’s something we are all supporting.

“There are people wanting to join Bobbie and we are going to help and do what we can.”