Student embarks on 3,000 mile rally trip

editorial image
Share this article

An intrepid student from Belper is hoping to avoid a break down as he attempts to drive more than 3,000 miles in a car that’s almost as old as him.

Former Ecclesbourne School pupil Thomas Hull, 22, is part of a group of Sheffield Hallam University students and graduates taking part in the Sucata Split rally, which will see them attempting to drive from Bruges in Belgium to Split in Croatia, in a bid to raise money for charity.

What makes the challenge all the more difficult is that to qualify for the rally they have to complete the trip in a car that is worth less than £350.

Their vehicle of choice is an 18-year-old Nissan 100x, which they bought on ebay and travelled to Scarborough in North Yorkshire to get.

Not content with this, the group has decided to extend the challenge and attempt to travel to 11 European countries in 11 days, pushing the car and their friendship to the limit.

The team is completed by Sunny Radia, 25, a marketing and communications graduate from Hertfordshire, and business and ICT student Dave Hood, 22, from London.

They are hoping to raise £1,000 for their chosen charity Gemin-I, which works with underprivileged children to give them access to education. The organisation helps more than 60,000 students from more than 2,000 schools in 120 countries across the world.

Thomas, who studies business and ICT at Sheffield Hallam, said: “We feel that education is sometimes taken for granted and we want to give children who are less fortunate than us the opportunity to improve their lives.

“The charity also focuses on connecting children from various cultures and backgrounds to help break down barriers with the ultimate goal of combating racism and prejudice worldwide.”

The team set off on Thursday, May 31 and are writing a blog to keep people up to date with their progress and to encourage people to suggest challenges throughout their journey.

Thomas added: “We’re not 100 per cent confident that the car will get us there and back, but this is all part of the challenge.

“We’ve got a basic knowledge of mechanics and a very basic grasp of French, which will come in useful on the trip. Although, we’re hoping we won’t need them!”

If the trio complete the journey, their reward is a big party on one of the most sumptuous sun-kissed beaches in Europe where they could win top prizes including a week’s holiday for four in a luxury villa in the Algarve.

Anyone interested in sponsoring the team can visit or text NISS99 + the donation amount (E.g. NISS99 £1) to 70070.

For more details on the rally visit