TOWN'S GOLDEN HERO LEADS MARATHON ZAMBIA CHALLENGE
GOLDEN boy Adam Peaty flew into Africa yesterday to begin a charity mission with a difference.
The 22-year-old Uttoxeter swimmer added to his impressive haul of medals with two more golds at the World Championships in Budapest last month.
But Adam is now in Zambia where he’s due to take part in a fund-raising sports marathon alongside coach Mel Marshall.
The pair are leading a group aiming to raise as much as £50,000 for the Perfect Day Foundation, of which he’s a patron.
Adam and fellow team members will take part in 10 hours of football, netball, basketball, triathlon and volleyball per day for five days and at five different locations in Lusaka and the surrounding area.
They’ll be joined by hundreds of young Zambians from four of the most deprived communities in the capital, where poverty, HIV, domestic and gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy and homelessness are rife.
It’s the 12th year of the ‘Volunteer Zambia’ project, which sends out dozens of students each year to deliver coaching, build new facilities and undertake sports development capacity building programmes across the country.
Peaty, who holds an Olympic title alongside his two world championship crowns, was due to fly out to Africa on Monday alongside 14 other British athletes including Marshall.
He said before he went: “It’s a really exciting challenge.
“Four years ago we went out there and took on a 500km bike ride in 42 degrees.
“Some of the money we raised has helped build a sports facility and we will be starting our five-day challenge this year from there, which is great.
“Hopefully future generations in Zambia will all take up a sport and maybe some of them can even pursue it as a serious career.”
Marshall coached Peaty to Olympic gold in Rio last year and will be in the thick of the action in Zambia.
She added: “On my previous visits to Zambia I’ve seen how valuable sport can be in enhancing the quality of life of young people who have next to nothing.
“I promised myself I’d return every Olympic cycle and try to raise money to give them a chance to enjoy sport and learn valuable life skills. Every donation makes such a big difference to the lives of these young people.”
The Perfect Day Foundation is a charity which supports projects under Sport In Action (SIA).
Chairman Peter Warburton said the visit is part of the programme dubbed Zambia5050.
He added: “We’re delighted that Adam will be part of the group visiting Zambia and taking part in an effort which will gsee around 120 children benefit from sport-specific coaching each day.
“Money raised in the UK and other parts of Europe will be used for the completion of a residential and recreational centre in Lusaka.
More than £11,000 has already been raised towards the target.
Donate by texting MELZ17 £10 to 70070 or go to www.theperfectdayfoundation.org
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