Stratford man's 4,000 mile charity cycle ride
PUBLISHED: 11:22 29 December 2015 | UPDATED: 11:22 29 December 2015
How will you be spending the first few months of 2016?
For Carl Ferguson and Jamie Burton, it will be cycling 4,000 miles across Africa.
The intrepid pair are beginning their 100 day adventure in Cape Town, South Africa, pedalling across nine countries before finishing in the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
But the friends aren’t just doing it for fun – they’re hoping to raise £10,000 for charity Cricket Without Boundaries.
Both Jamie, 29, and Carl, 37, are heavily involved with the sport and have helped to coach tens of thousands of youngsters through the charity.
Jamie, from Stratford, said: “We want to spread the CWB message – both here and in Africa. It’s something we massively believe in.
“Part of why we are doing this is fundraising but by far the biggest motivation is raising awareness about the charity.”
Cricket Without Borders was set up in 2005 to develop cricket skills and raise awareness of HIV and Aids.
Since then, it has delivered over 50 projects in nine African countries – coaching more than 150,000 children in the process.
Carl, an actor who lives in Islington, said: “I have seen first-hand the power its work can have on communities and I am determined to help in whatever way I can to ensure more and more projects take place.”
During the trip, the pair plan to meet up with Maggie Kamau, a teacher who transformed her Kenyan school into the most feared team in the district after taking part in Cricket Without Borders’ coaching sessions.
Jamie, who works in marketing, explained that the charity had helped to change the students’ lives.
“The success the children are having has also changed the way they are viewed by pupils from other schools,” he said.
“Previously they didn’t want to interact with them because they were from the slums.
“But through their cricketing ability they have a new-found respect for them.”
In order to raise as much money for the charity as possible, Jamie and Carl have funded all the costs themselves, including flights.
They plan to camp or stay with friends during their journey, which will see them encounter temperatures of more than 30c.
Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed in Africa either, with the Rwandan national cycling team joining them once they arrive in the country.
To sponsor Carl and Jamie, visit justgiving.com/thegreatcwbcycle