A GROUP of sport coaches will travel from Leeds to Stirling in an effort to encourage more men to speak up on mental health issues.

The team of four will ride more than 400 miles next week, taking in a handful of stops along the way.

The coaches are based at Leeds Beckett University, where they are part of the Carnegie American Football team, and will visit each of the four universities their team will play in the 2018-19 season: Derby, Nottingham, Durham and Stirling.

Their idea was kickstarted in support of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) - an award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.

In 2015, 75 per cent of all UK suicides were male. Mental health issues affecting young men is something that is close to all the coaches' hearts.

Any money raised through crowdfunding was to be split between CALM and the club. However, the team decided to cap the amount that the club will receive at £500.

Therefore the first £1,000 of donation will be split equally between club and charity, with the rest of total given entirely to CALM.

It is hoped the ride will raise around £2,500 to £3,000.

One of the Leeds riders Jason Shaw said: "Stirling University are one of the teams in the BUCS Premiership (North) for American Football that our team (Leeds Beckett Carnegie American Football team) will have the pleasure of playing twice in the regular season this year. 

"We decided that with exercise playing such a part in increasing mental wellbeing, cycling between the four teams in the division would be a good challenge and help raise awareness of mental health issues affecting young men in the UK.

"Encouraging young men who take part in full contact sport, often considered a 'macho' arena, to feel comfortable enough to speak up when they have issues is something really important to us as coaches."

The Leeds Bike-It Carnegie challenge begins on July 6 with the coaches arriving at Stirling University on July 9.

To donate to the group's crowdfunding page, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/leedsbike-it

For updates on their progress, visit facebook.com/leedsbikeitcarnegie