Saddling up for Olympic legacy

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PETER White regularly cycles 10 miles from his home in Great Whelnetham to work in Bury St Edmunds.

But when he sets off in May next year, giving baby daughter Sophie a kiss as he leaves, he will be going just a little bit further – 6,000 miles to Rwanda.

The 31-year-old and his friend Peter Goodwin, 28, are being trained by ultraman althlete and Bury policeman Simon Bourne for a gruelling 70-day feat, taking on the deserts of Sudan and the mountains of Ethiopia.

The two men are keen cyclists and have taken on big rides before, although nothing on this scale.

“Most of all I want to try to make a difference, albeit in a small way to the people of Rwanda, who have experienced such terrible hardship in the very recent past,” said Mr White, who in St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s planning department.

The daring duo will be raising money towards a Sport For Rwanda appeal, set up by the council, Abbeycroft Leisure, Rwanda Aid, schools and business bodies.

Next year will see Rwandan athletes set up a training camp in Bury ahead of the Olympic games.

The appeal aims to leave a legacy in Rwanda with the money used to buy sports and educational equipment for 140 schools in the African country. Sport is not taught in Rwandan schools and it is hoped the appeal will benefit more than 100,000 children.

Schools in Bury will be learning about Rwanda – King Edward VI Upper School has started building links with Meruru School in Western Rwanda – while businesses will be asked to sponsor Rwandan athletes.

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