Calderdale man’s 12 challenges in 12 months for charity in memory of his father

The devastating death of his father from heart failure has prompted Daniel Sykes to take on 12 endurance events in 12 months for charity.

Daniel Sykes, who is raising money for The British Heart Foundation by completing 12 gruelling challenges.
Daniel Sykes, who is raising money for The British Heart Foundation by completing 12 gruelling challenges.

Daniel’s father David, 68, died on December 17, 2017 when he suffered a cardiac arrest delivering Christmas cards and presents to his neighbours.

“My lovely father was an incredibly sociable, popular, friendly man who was renowned in his village for his warm demeanour, outgoing personality and love for people and life,” said Daniel, a teacher who lives in Norland.

“He was always the life and soul of the party, the heart of our family and strong pillar in the community. Everyone knew him and he was a friend to all.

David Sykes, father of Daniel Sykes, who is raising money for The British Heart Foundation by completing 12 gruelling challenges.

“When my brother Jamie and I were growing up, our father’s biggest hobby was watching us play sports,” said Daniel, a primary school teacher from Norland.

“In order to make dad proud, I decided to undertake a set of hugely demanding physical challenges to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

“In 12 months, I will push my body to the limit with a range of, hopefully impressive, endurance challenges and encourage friends and family to join me in my training and some of the events.”

Daniel’s challenges include the Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride, a 52-miles cycling event, the Great North Run, the Great North Swim, the Manchester Half Marathon, the York to Leeds/Leeds to York cycle, a triathlon, a 24 hour Cross Fit Challenge and the British Heart Foundation’s Lake Peaks Challenge.

“My father’s sudden death was a huge shock for myself, the family and the whole community. He was a hugely popular man in the area and appeared to be in good health despite his blood pressure and cholesterol issues. It hit our family incredibly hard, especially at Christmas time. His passing was a devastating loss.

“I believe that my dad would be incredibly proud. He would say I was doing a good thing for other people; he thought so much about others, always trying to make others happy.

“He was always very generous and caring. He’d see a lot of what I’m doing in what he used to do. He loved swimming and hiking so I’m sure he would be chuffed that I’m doing those events. But the cycling and the running he’d say I was a bit mad, he would tell me to be careful.

“I’m in no doubt he would be proudly telling everyone he spoke to about what I was doing, with the support of my wife Katie and my brother Jamie, and telling people to dig deep and give generously, just as he would have.

“I want to give something back to the British Heart Foundation as a thank you for their contribution to heart and circulatory diseases research, ongoing support and for spreading awareness and information on heart related diseases.

“As my dad was such a sociable man, I want my events to be as sociable as possible too which is why my brother will be doing the Great North Swim and the triatholon with me, my mother in law will also be doing the Great North Swim and my wife is doing the Manchester Half Marathon with me.”

To donate to Daniel’s fundraising effort, visit