19-year-old rowing coach to cycle 9,000km across Africa on his own

A teenage rowing coach is preparing to embark on an epic 9,000km solo cycle ride from Kenya through to South Africa.

Jack O’Shea, from Bradfield, near North Walsham, begins his challenge on Wednesday, March 6, to raise £10,000 for two charities.

It will see the 19-year-old cross eight countries, battle rough terrain and wild animals to reach South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope in July.

Should he succeed, he will become the youngest person to cycle such a distance unsupported in Africa.

Mr O’Shea, who is a rowing coach at Norwich School, said: “I have always had a love for adventurous sports and travelling and after reading Mark Beaumont’s books I had a desire to get on my bike.

“I decided that I would raise money for two charities, Kitale School and Explorers against Extinction, to try and make a difference to the continent that will be hosting me on this adventure.”

He will begin his journey at Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino.

Mr O’Shea is staying at the sanctuary for two nights to assemble his bike and equipment. During that time he has been able to visit the anti-poaching dog unit and the northern white rhinos.

Explorers against Extinction donated a conservation arms and ammunition Spaniel to Ol Pejeta’s anti-poaching canine unit using funds from its 2017 campaign.

Sara White, trustee of Explorers against Extinction, said: “We are delighted to support Jack through our new young explorer programme.

“This is a new initiative which aims to offer mentoring and practical advice to young people passionate about exploration and conservation.

“I’m sure that having this sort of hands-on behind-the-scenes conservation experience will be a big motivational boost for Jack.

“We are very grateful to Ol Pejeta for giving him such an immersive experience - what an amazing start to this epic journey.”

Once Mr O’Shea completes his challenge he will fly home to begin studying paramedic science in London.

To sponsor his journey, visit: www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JackOShea

Source: North Norfolk News