Wednesday 21 February 2018

Paul and Helen on epic cycle trip from Singapore to Tokyo

Bray man Paul Dunne and his wife Helen are cycling 10,000 km from Singapore to Tokyo to raise funds for children in Cambodia.

They are travelling through Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China and Japan before returning home later in the year all to help Plan get pre-primary schools in Cambodia up and running.

'We are two ordinary people who would like to do something extraordinary,' said Paul, who wooed his South African wife at Bray Seafront.

The enormity of the task becomes even more so when you hear that they are new to cycling.

'We have never been keen cyclists and didn't own bikes (other than rusty ones abandoned in the garden) until last year. Although we had cycled to work when we were trying to save money for our wedding, we hadn't embarked on any journey greater than 15km.'

They have done some longer journeys since getting the bikes, with the furthest single trip being 1,200 km in Australia when they cycled from Casino to Lismore in New South Wales.

At this time they are in Cambodia and have completed more than a quarter of their trip.

Plan is an international children's charity that supports projects all over the world. Plan Ireland is the arm of the charity Paul and Helen are supporting as they are providing the funds for Plan Cambodia.

Few Camobidian children go to secondary school and fewer finish. The earlier education starts the higher their chances are of completing primary and secondary school.

Most of the parents are rice farmers who need their children to work, so Plan provide morning and afternoon sessions.

'The money we are raising will go to the schools to help provide teaching supplies and learning materials to the schools,' said Paul.

'You don't have to be amazing at something to give it a try and be successful,' he added. 'Goodness knows we are not the best cyclists but we do a little at a time and by the end of the day we've done about 100 km.'

Bray People

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