Nine-year-old, James Cunningham from Clontarf in Dublin cycled 256 kms for 12 hours over 2 consecutive days on 3rd and 4th May to raise funds for the Peter McVerry Trust.
James wanted to create awareness about the plight of the homeless people at a time when the UK and Ireland continues the fight with Covid-19.
James got involved into cycling since a tender age of 2 and is an active youth member of the Quanta-Scott Orwell Wheelers Cycling Club.
He was deeply concerned for homeless people especially during the corona virus and curiously discussed it with his parents, Keith and Fiona.
James took-up this epic challenge after his family approved and collectively they decided to support Peter McVerry Trust for the fundraiser.
James took up a virtual challenge in his kitchen using an indoor trainer with a simulator connected to a screen. Ideally, he would have loved to ride outdoors but had to adapt because of restrictions.
Done. Completed. Finished.
12 hours and a total of 256km.
Thanks for all the brilliant messages and the very kind donations.
I started with a target of €500 and I've raised more than €2800 for the @PMVTrust.
I hope it helps a little!
— James Cunningham (@JamesCun2000) May 4, 2020
James had initially set a target of 200 kms but he was encouraged and supported by his 12 year old sister Elise, and 6 year old younger brother Benjamin, which motivated him to surpass the goal. Both the siblings cheered and took care of him with food and drinks.
He has had wonderful support from his local community and from further afield. His challenge was supported from local clubs such as Clontarf lawn tennis club and his own cycling team Quanta Scott Orwell right up to the pro peloton itself with one of his biggest heroes Nicolas Roche of Team Sunweb offering personal words of support.
Congrats! Very inspiring! Look forward to seeing you on the road sometime soon! 💪 https://t.co/NrxANUN2aw
— nicholas roche (@nicholasroche) May 4, 2020
“We are all so proud of James and his decision to do this. James just loves riding his bike. It is all he ever wants to do,’ said James’ dad Keith Cunningham.
“He is a sporty kid and loves all sports including athletics, golf, tennis, GAA and rugby but cycling is his passion and every free second he has, he is either on his bike, talking about his bike or watching cycling on the sports channels”. Keith added.
“This is an incredible undertaking by James and we are delighted to have his support. The funds he has raised, will help us to take care of the vulnerable people” said Brian Curtin, Senior Community Fundraiser with the Peter McVerry Trust.
James story has now gone global with the British network ITV News (@itvnews) running it and the Irish Post (@theirishpost) now running his story to an international community of Irish around the world.
He hopes this will add extra impetus to his fight on behalf of homelessness and bring more awareness for his chosen charity Peter McVerry Trust.
James charity efforts was also backed by Orla Chennaoui, Pro Cycling presenter with Eurosport, she expressed her good wishes in her tweet.
👏👏👏 Good on you James. The very best of luck 💪💪 https://t.co/nU14TOgzLI
— Orla Chennaoui (@SportsOrla) May 1, 2020
You can make your contributions to the charity by clicking here: Just Giving – Fundraising – James Cunningham
Follow James on twitter @Jamescun2000
Cover image : Keith Cunningham
Source: Keith Cunningham, edited by Vijay Malhotra