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Can you learn teamwork?

We will have all experienced being part of a great team and most likely been part of one that doesn’t function well. Professionally we will have been to courses and learnt about the 4,5, 7 or even 9 roles within a team, maybe even done a DiSC or Belbin analysis.

All are relevant and give good theoretical background to helping understand the dynamics at play within a team, however, what we at UK Challenge aim to do is give an experiential playground to probe and test what we think we know, to see how our behaviors stand up under pressure and importantly to learn and get feedback.

A high performing team needs a leader, a facilitator, collaborators, challengers and members but it also needs the functional parts such as technical, intelligence, strategy and emotional management. Some teams can work well with an heroic leader, perhaps in a military setting, whilst others may have multiple leaders, for example some of the greatest sports teams are often cited for having a great leader such as Richie McCaw the All Blacks Captain with an 89% success rate but by his own admission his strength lay in handing responsibility around to other leaders on the pitch. He was the figure head for sure and respected but when it came to the fancy moves in the backs he was the emotional support giving trust and encouragement. What he was actually doing was creating that team environment that allowed performance to be maximised.

Another fine example of leadership leading to great teamwork and high performance was that of Mike Brearley, who recognised that his strength lay in building the England cricket team around him and without whom we may have been denied seeing one of the greatest sporting achievements in England cricket from Lord “Beefy” Botham who will be with us in Dartmoor. Mike by his own admission was not the greatest cricketer but he was a first-rate psychologist and knew what made his players tick.

We all work within teams, whether at home with our family or at work with our colleagues and we would not be human if we didn’t derive satisfaction when the teamwork flows but why does one group work for us and then perhaps the next one not so well. Often it comes down to the individual components (ie US) not modifying our behaviour from one group to the next, recognising the strengths of others in the group and promoting those strengths, we need to have shared goals and shared success, listening is critical, especially in new teams and often roles need defining where there is confusion. Often a leader will need to be identified and that role needs to be 2-way for it to function at its maximum, a team will need shared values such as integrity, honesty, maybe passion but most definitely empathy.

The UKC will give you the chance to test out both your hard and soft teamwork skills and learn about yourself and your colleagues and with an estimated 10k having taken part over the years over 90% say they developed their skills in teamwork and leadership through participation. Why not have a discussion within your team prior to arrival about the key roles each team member will have and remember there is room for more than 1 leader!

UK Challenge 2024 Important Information

There will be an evening mountain biking stage at this year’s UK Challenge! 🌃

We don’t normally like to give away stage information before the event, but in this case, we will need teams to ensure they come equipped with front and rear bike lights for at least 2 of your team’s bikes. 🚲

For those who would like to purchase a bike light, we are now selling them on our UK Challenge shop (this can be found on the portal). Please note, that bike hiring DOES NOT include bike lights, you will need to buy bike lights whether you are hiring from us or bringing your own.

UKC 2024 approaching deadlines!

UK Challenge 2024 teams, the deadline for booking extra accommodation is approaching. All extra accommodation needs to be completed by 3rd May.

To book extra accommodation, visit the portal. Under the accommodation overview, you will see a green ‘edit’ button. Here you can add extra accommodation. Please note, that only the captain can add extra accommodation for team members.

For further help, email Suzie.

Training Evenings

We would like to say a huge thank you to CGI and Accenture for hosting training evenings and inviting other UK Challenge participants this month.

CGI and Accenture have kindly offered another 2 training days in May for any UK Challenge participant who would like to come along. For more information email Rebecca.

Training Day Dates: 
Saturday 11th May 2024 – CGI
Tuesday 14th May 2024 – Accenture
Monday 20th May 2024 – CGI

Cyclexperience is looking forward to supporting the UK Challenge once again. It was 20 years ago in 2004 when we first supported the UK Challenge on the Isle of Wight, only a ferry crossing from our main bike hire centre in the New Forest.  Most of the time our rental bikes have a more sedate ride from our centres in the New Forest & Dorset, following the local woodland trails and bridleways but we support a small number of national events each year which involves packing up to 200 hundred bikes into vans and trailers and hitting the motorways and lanes before ending up in a field or car park, which has been temporarily renamed Bike Transition Area! When we aren’t renting, we offer all the normal bike shop stuff like servicing, repairs and bicycle sales. Due to our large hire fleet which is updated regularly, we are (probably) the biggest independent second hand cycle bicycle dealer in the UK! Find out more about what we do at

Beefy’s Charity Foundation is delighted to have been chosen, for the second consecutive year, as the charity of the year for The UK Challenge. The support we have received from the UK Challenge is exceptional and something we are extremely grateful for.  Last year we raised just shy of £80,000.00 for the Foundation and with your help we can beat this and make it a record year! If every team can set up their JustGiving Page, details can be found here and each team has a target of £1000.00 – giving every team member a target of just £166.66 each then from this alone we will be soaring to that target!

We are delighted to have our Charities take part in this year’s UK Challenge and in these newsletters, you will get to meet some of the families, supporters, and survivors who will be taking part in the challenge alongside you all.


The Foundation helps to fund specific projects relating to chronic illnesses and other challenges that young people face. These are serious issues, but we like to raise money by having a lot of fun and working closely with our charities and supporters. We raise awareness and vital funds from a series of high-profile events (and additional donations) and appreciate your interest and any support you would like to offer. The Charities we support are:

  • YBTC – Yorkshire’s Brain Tumor Charity
  • BDFA – Batten Disease Family Association
  • Blood Cancer UK
  • JDRF – Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Meet Paul from BDFA
“Batten disease is a rare and terminal neurodegenerative condition that affects children and young adults. It is a devastating and life changing diagnosis. There are 13 types of the disease and the most common are known as CLN2 and CLN3. In all cases of Batten disease children are born healthy but at some stage in childhood depending on the specific diagnosis, they start having seizures, they lose the ability to speak, walk or see and they develop dementia. They ultimately become completely dependent on their careers for all their needs. There is only one treatment, suitable for patients with one type of the disease, which slows down it’s progression if caught early enough. There is no cure for any type of Batten disease.

Your fundraising will help the BDFA to continue to ensure that no family walks this path alone and promote research into the management of Batten disease to improve patient care pathways and ultimately find a cure. Thank you.”

Charity Golf Day

Monthly Brain Teaser

Here is another monthly brain teaser.

These monthly brain teasers are also a good way to train for the puzzle element of the UK Challenge 2024!

Email your answers to Rebecca to find out how good your puzzle skills are!

If you have further questions or would like to discuss the UK Challenge with a member of the team email