INDUSTRY CHALLENGERS PREPARE TO PEDAL IN MADAGASCAR

11 June 2012

A team of 25 challengers from across the UK transport and logistics industry is preparing for the fundraising challenge of a lifetime, cycling more than 450km across Madagascar, in aid of international development charity Transaid.

The group – which has set a target of raising £100,000 – will set off on the gruelling adventure to the island country in the Indian Ocean on Friday 15 June, with a day’s acclimatisation in the capital of Antananarivo on the Saturday, before the main event begins in earnest on Sunday.

The five-day ride will see the team covering an average of 90km per day, starting out on tarmac roads from the city and passing through villages and rice paddies.  Beyond the smooth blacktop lies broken tarmac with deep potholes, sharp ascents and descents, dusty off-road trails, steep undulations, river crossings over floating bridges and crowded urban streets packed with markets, cyclists, cars and pedestrians.

Transaid Events Manager Aggie Krasnolucka-Hickman says: “The challengers are extremely excited and raring to get going on their challenging trip.  They’ve been working flat-out to train and meet their fundraising objectives.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit vital Transaid initiatives across Africa.  In Madagascar Transaid is working to reduce child and maternal mortality rates by providing better transport solutions.  Flooding in remote parts of Madagascar can leave communities cut off for up to 10 months of the year, with little or no access to transport.

Supporting the challengers in-country is International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), which has made a generous donation to help fund Transaid’s work, but is also covering the cost of internal flights for the challengers.  Executives at ICTSI have also arranged a mid-cycle visit to the Port of Toamasina – its own major logistics terminal.

Narlene Soriano, Head of Public Relations at ICTSI, says: “Transaid’s work in Madagascar and across the developing world is helping to save lives and improve quality of living in some of our remotest communities.  We salute Transaid’s commitment, and look forward to welcoming the challengers from the UK, whose hard work is set to benefit a very worthwhile charity.”

The 25 participants represent major organisations including the CILT, DHL, GKN Freight Services, Hankook Tyres, Michelin, Mike Mundy Associations, PS-PPP Consult, Simms Recycling Solutions, Transport Exchange Group, Transport for London, United Biscuits, Volvo Truck, Wincanton and Woodland Global.

The group returns to the UK on Saturday 23 June. To sponsor the team visit their justgiving website on www.justgiving.com/teams/transaidmadagascar

Follow the team on the Transaid blog during their trip: http://transaidchallengers.wordpress.com

To discuss getting involved in a future Transaid challenge call Aggie Krasnolucka-Hickman on +44 (0) 20 7387 8136 or email aggie@transaid.org.

ends

Note to Editor:

Transaid (www.transaid.org) is an international development agency that aims to improve people’s quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save The Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport systems.

Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers.  It also assists with teaching preventive vehicle maintenance management and introducing local, low cost transport solutions including its innovative bicycle ambulance. Transaid also helps promote HIV, AIDS and road safety awareness and shares its specialist knowledge with the humanitarian aid sector.

Transaid enjoys strong backing from the transport and logistics industry and the active involvement of its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) is involved in the management, operation and development of ports and terminals.  It is the Philippines' largest and most successful container terminal operator, and is a world leader in this business.  ICTSI has an experience record that spans 23 container terminal operations in 17 countries.

For further press information:

Chantelle Cummingsat Transaid                                     +44 (0)20 7387 8136
James Keeler at Garnett Keeler                                     +44 (0)20 8647 4467

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PHOTO CAPTIONS:

182 Transaid_cycle_challenge_river.jpg:    A fundraiser tackles a river crossing during a previous Transaid Cycle Challenge.

182 Madagascan_village_Transaid.jpg:     Cyclists will pass close to villages in Madagascar where Transaid is currently working.


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Quotes

The challengers are extremely excited and raring to get going on their challenging trip. They’ve been working flat-out to train and meet their fundraising objectives.
Aggie Krasnolucka-Hickman, Transaid Events Manager