Teacher gets on her bike

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A TOUCHING story discovered through a book club has inspired a deputy headteacher to get fit for a charity bike ride.

On Sunday, Fiona Masters from Grove Road Primary School in Tring will cycle 40km in the first ever women-only Cycletta South cycle ride.

She is raising cash for Hamlin Fistula UK – a charity supporting women with traumatic birth injuries in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and it’s all down to one book.

The 55-year-old was inspired after reading the true life story Cutting for Stone by American surgeon Abraham Verghase.

Set in 1958, it follows a female doctor in Ethiopia and her quest to save women with obstetric fistula, a potentially fatal hole in the birth canal caused by girls who are not ready to give birth and made worse by cultural practices such as female circumcision and prehistoric birth methods.

Fiona said: “The money I raise can’t change a culture but it will help supplies and staffing.”

The race starts at Whipsnade Zoo and will pass through Dagnall, Ivinghoe, Cheddington, Mentmore and Slapton.

Fiona said: “I’m monumentally unfit so this will be a big challenge for me but I have been training all summer.”

You can sponsor her at www.justgiving.com/fiona-masters

The event is being backed by Olympic badminton player Gail Emms who is an ambassador for the cycle challenge. Joining the female cyclists will be reporter Connie Primmer from our sister paper the Luton News.