Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Steve Crams in the Miles and Drums Up the Cash

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Steve Crams in the Miles and Drums Up the Cash

Article excerpt

Byline: Sam Wonfor Reporter

FORMER world 1500-metre champion Steve Cram says he was pushed to the limits as he led a team of cyclists on a charity ride through the stunning Rift Valley in Kenya.

The 150km journey through Kenyan Maasai land raised PS15,000 for Comrades of Children Overseas (COCO), the Newcastle-based international children's charity he co-founded in 2000.

The money enabled the building of a classroom at the remote Maasai village of Olorte, and the cyclists joined local chiefs, elders and community representatives for the official opening ceremony.

The classroom will allow the school to accommodate a new intake of students this year and typifies COCO's work in remote regions of Kenya and Tanzania - providing education and training for children and their families to offer hope for a brighter future.

After completing the four-day ride in 30-degree heat, across challenging terrain and climbing a total of 4,000 metres, the BBC commentator said: "This has undoubtedly been one of the toughest and most inspiring things I've ever done.

"The whole team was fantastic and I'm so proud of all of them for making it. The challenge was so much tougher than any of us imagined.

"However, when we got to Olorte, met the children and saw how much the new classroom meant to them, all the effort was instantly worthwhile. For all of us it was undoubtedly the highlight and gave the tough final day a real purpose. Everyone at COCO is looking forward to continuing our work with the Maasai community."

The adventure was conceived by bespoke African trip specialists Willetts Safaris, whose founder John Blissett was made an elder of the village of Labentera in the heart of Maasai Land.

This special relationship allows John and the cyclists intimate access to the Maasai people and their culture. …

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