A young student from Crossgates is to attempt a marathon cycle ride for flood victims in India after his mother was caught up in the devastation it wrought.
Daniel Kunnel, aged nine, had watched the news footage on television at home when flooding hit the Kerala area where his mother Alice was visiting family in August.
Her flights were delayed as the flooding hit, with many people killed and thousands left homeless as a result of the deluge.
When his father Anthony Augustine committed to a charity bike ride to raise funds for survivors, determined young Daniel decided he too wanted to help.
Now the pair, supported by family and friends and with Daniel’s teacher to join them for part of the way, are to cycle from Liverpool to Leeds over the course of three days.
“He said he wanted to do it, even when I warned him it was 100 plus miles, even with all the practice,” said Mr Augustine, 56, who works in facilities support at St James’ Hospital. “He hasn’t stopped training, riding 20-25 miles, three of four days a week after school.
“With many people still struggling, living in temporary shelters, and with networks down, he wanted to help.”
Daniel is a Year 4 student at St Theresa’s Catholic Primary School, Barwick Road, and the school has been supportive, with class teacher Richard McCarthy volunteering to travel part of the way with them.
Mr McCarthy said: “I think what Daniel is doing at such a young age takes a lot of courage and dedication and because the cause is so close to Daniel’s heart this has provided extra drive and passion. “What him and his family are doing encompasses everything the St Theresa’s family community is about - ‘doing the right thing...because it is the right thing to do’. We are all very proud of Daniel and he has the backing of the whole school.”
Setting off on October 20, it will take them three days to travel from Liverpool, a route of around 100 miles to the school, where they will be given a welcome from fellow pupils and staff.
To support them, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AnthonyAugustine