Debs Butler is usually a PE teacher and was regularly to be found wearing shorts in the winter on a field in Leicestershire. She will return to teaching after the trip as she loves sport, whistles and doesn’t have an appropriate wardrobe for any other job. Before training as a teacher, Debs worked in Exercise Physiology at Loughborough University. She has also worked as a soccer coach in the USA, a swimming teacher in New Zealand and plays a mean guitar.
Jo Welford is a Doctor but not the useful-in-an-emergency kind. She has worked at Loughborough University and De Montfort University Leicester as a researcher. Most recently she has worked with other European universities on a football project (www.free-project.eu), in Criminal and Community Justice and has co-written a book about the Women’s Super League. Jo looks forward to further work in these areas, or any other projects relating to football, women’s sport, young people or education.
“You won’t make it back in time for the Olympics on those”
Lucky enough to have a year-long sabbatical Debs and Jo spent a year (2011/12) that included transport purchases in multiple countries. They drove 18000km around Australia in a station wagon called Bert, bought bikes, panniers etc off ‘trade me’ (NZ’s eBay) and biked with inappropriate gears around the second pointiest country possible (#1=Switzerland). Living the 29th Feb twice in 2012 because of the international date line (just like buses, you don’t get one for ages then they all arrive at once) they worked on a farm in central Chile and travelled overland to Lima, Peru wishing they still had bicycles. Back in the northern hemisphere Jo and Debs made their way from Miami to Vancouver to start a cycle trip across Canada, inspired initially by Jimmy Griffiths’ photos (Shortbread House, Nelson, NZ) and later helped by Martin Prestage from Up the Creek, Roberts Creek, BC, Canada, where they were lucky enough to work-stay for a month to prep and enjoy the Sunshine Coast.
4500km later they arrived in Winnipeg and also enjoyed a tour around Ontario.
You can read about these trips at www.pe-teacherontour.blogspot.com
Closer to Home…
In summer 2013, Jo and Debs cycled from Hook of Holland to Geneva via the Vennbahn, Luxembourg City, Lake Constance and Grindlewald. It took a month to get to Geneva and only 15 hours to get back to Leicester on the train, including a 2 hour cycle tour of Paris sights!
Most recently they cycled to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games, and continued North-west to the Outer Hebrides. They didn’t get to see an otter though.