Two final year students at The University of Nottingham are set to celebrate the end of their exams by taking on an incredible challenge in support of charity Water.
Setting off on Friday 7 June, Ahmed Mashadani and Andreas Aristidou will be cycling 3,000 miles to deliver a bottle of water from University Park Campus, Nottingham to Laayoune, in Western Sahara.
The pair hope that the symbolic gesture will raise awareness of drought and the difficulty of finding clean and accessible water without the help of charities like Water – which works to create better access to clean water in Africa.
A second epic adventure
Ahead of the epic journey, Ahmed says he will look back on past adventures to find inspiration for the trip.
On a budget of just £1,000, the Management student spent the summer of 2012 on the back of an 110cc scooter, driving from The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus near Kuala Lumpur to Nottingham to raise money for the Red Cross.
After passing through 21 countries, as diverse and spectacular as Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Sweden, Ahmed admitted a “hunger for more challenging tasks” but this time he has the support of his friend Andreas.
A worthy cause
Ahmed explained: “We are going to deliver a bottle of water from the UK to one of the driest places on earth, where finding clean water is an extremely difficult task. With nearly a billion people without access to clean water on our planet it is a very pressing issue.
“This charity has been active in the African continent for quite some time and you can really see the differences they have made. Accessing water is a lifeline for all of us and is a fundamental right for everybody.
“We hope that the ubiquity of this problem will be raised and I do hope that more people can take part in helping us to fulfil our fundraising goal.”
To prepare for the challenge ahead, Ahmed and Andreas began training for their ride six months ago using bikes in the gym. As the weather has improved they have also been able to get back out on to the road to improve their fitness and stamina.
But despite their training, they admit that they are “very far from being physical wonders”, and are keen for other people to join them on the ride.
A worthy cause
Wendy Chapple, Associate Professor at Nottingham University Business School, is Ahmed’s personal tutor. Having worked with him during his degree she believes his determination will ensure he completes his goal.
She explained: “I think this is a huge challenge, but if anybody can do it Ahmed can. It is a brilliant initiative that he has taken on to raise money and highlight an important issue. As a Corporate Social Responsibility Professor, I believe that water shortage and finding water that is fit to drink is a massive problem in large parts of the world.
“I think that this challenge sums up Nottingham and our students. I have heard of a number of different challenges which show that our students have an awareness of these issues and are prepared to do something about them.”
To find out more information about the pair’s journey visit their Facebook page or donate to their cause at: http://my.charitywater.org/the-waterboy-express.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It was ‘one of the first to embrace a truly international approach to higher education’, according to the Sunday Times University Guide 2013. It is also one of the most popular universities among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the UK’s Top 10 and the World’s Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS World Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…