Team’s 300km charity cycle

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A group of friends are cycling 300km in 40-degree African heat across three days in the hope of raising money for charity.

The Chailey and Newick Colts Gambia Support Group (CNCGSG) will travel to Gambia this month, where they will cycle from the country’s capital, Banjul, to the city of Janjanbureh.

One of the members, Matthew Cawthra, 26, said: “We’ll be travelling between 50 and 60 miles a day. By 9am temperatures will be up to 28 degrees, not dropping below 30 until midnight.”

The other six members of the CNCGSG are father and son Paul and Jack Tolhurst, 53 and 23, mother and son Mel and Will Hutchinson, 51 and 23, Laura Shepard, 23, and Rachel Kemp, 30.

They are all based in East Sussex, which the team believe is not completely dissimilar to Gambia.

Matthew added: “The community spirits in Newick and Janjanbureh are something we often compare.

“Both communities come together to support ones who are not as well off.”

The team has been training hard for the last couple of months in preparation for the journey.

“This is by far our biggest challenge.

“This Easter marks the 10-year anniversary of the first trip, so we wanted to do something big to celebrate.

“It is a pretty long drive, let alone cycle, but we know it would be a great adventure,” Matthew said.

Through Brighton half-marathons, triathlons and pub quizzes, the group has raised £50,846, of which every penny has gone into creating and developing The Skills Centre and aiding the locals of Janjanbureh.

The centre provides local students with courses on subjects such as computer skills and sewing, so they can continue further education.

Matthew said: “I think as a charity we have a lot of pride in the fact that 100 per cent of money we raise is spent in Gambia under our control. All costs of all trips are covered by the charity members.”

The CNCGSG has a target of £3,000 they want to raise for the 300km cycle.

To donate, visit www.givey.com/thegambiabikeride.

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