FORMER Dragons player and coach Colin Charvis hopped on a bike at Spytty Retail Park on the weekend to raise cash for children’s charity Sparkle, based at the Serennu Centre in Newport.

The rugby star turned TV pundit cycled 100 miles in four-and-a-half hours at Tesco Spytty for the charity, which works with children with disabilities or special needs and their families.

“Some people were coming up to us who had heard of the Serennu Centre or had used it themselves, so it was more about the people of Newport knowing what’s in Newport, and raising the charity’s profile,” saidMr Charvis said: , who last year completed the 800km Cape Epic mountain bike race in Africa.

“When people see others doing a sponsored bike ride, they’re no longer happy with five or 10 miles, they want to see three figures. Cape Epic was quite tough but the scenery was constantly changing, whereas on an exercise bike it was very easy for me to slow down and chat to people. It was a mental challenge to keep going.”

Sparkle fundraising coordinator Lucy Holmes will be counting up the cash raised today, said Mr Charvis, but said the six volunteers at the end of the day had very heavy buckets of change, with a lot of notes too.

“It was a fantastic response, you don’t usually see people giving so generously,” he said.

Visit to find out more about the charity.