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Five pedal Africa for charity

St Andrews Adventure Group (STAAG)

Five adventurous students from the University of St Andrews have raised more than £7,000 for charity on a once-in-a-lifetime trek across Africa.

Stuart Charters (3rd year Chemistry and Physics), Emmy Wassenius (2nd year Biology), Rohit Rao (5th year Geography with French), Ed Bennett (2nd year History and Arabic), and Caroline Sejer Damgaard (2nd year Sustainable Development, Social Anthropology and Geography) from St Andrews Adventure Group (STAAG), spent nine weeks over the summer cycling 3,678km (2,285miles) across challenging terrain in Africa as part of Challenge 2012.

The Pedal Africa group travelled by bike from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean through Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia, crossing deserts, tackling mountainous climbs and often camping out overnight.

Highlights on their adventure included stops at the Victoria Falls in Zambia, as well as the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert in Botswana before they finished their epic journey at Walvis Bay, Namibia on August 27.

So far, the group has raised £7,186 which will be split between the Students’ Association’s Charities Campaign and One Water.

For the latter charity they hope to raise £14,000 to buy a sustainable water pump which could supply an entire village in Southern Africa. These innovative pumps can often be powered by children’s roundabouts and swings.

The group spent 10 months before the trip planning the route, acquiring sponsors and organising dozens of fundraising and publicity events.

Rohit said: “Given the water insecurity that affects many of the areas we cycled through, this was clearly the most pertinent charity to be involved with.

“So far the five of us have raised £7,186.30 for our charities, but we will be keeping the donations page open for a while. If we raise £14,000, we will be able to fund the instalment of an entire pump system in a village along our route.”

To find out more, or to donate, go to the group’s website.

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Note to Editors

For images please contact the press office.

The Pedal Africa 2012 team featured as last year’s ‘Charities Challenge’, instigated by the St Andrews Adventure Group (S.T.A.A.G.).

It follows in the footsteps of Challenge 2011: St Andrews to Mongolia, and will be succeeded by Challenge 2013: Rickshaw India. For more information about STAAG, please visit the website.

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