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GB swimmers in charity bike ride

6th October 2012

So the team arrived in Zambia just over 3 days ago and now it seems in real that we will tomorrow cycle 450km across Africa.

We have been greeted with such warmth from Zambia and it's been love and friendship all round.

Here, for most, hard work takes you to the end of the street and that's it.

However, the team are now somewhat nervous after many of the locals have said we may have been too ambitious to do it in Africa's hottest month.

Throughout our time in Livingston we have seen some positive things and tough things. Today was spent on the ground with children at a Sport in Action site.

The kids ran for miles to meet swimming heroes Becky, Ross and Jo. As we all stepped off the bus the children ran at us, high fives and hugs all round.

With the smiles and enthusiasm it brought a reality check for all of us. Surrounded by dust, limited resource and huge problems, so often we take for granted here in the UK the opportunities we have and the path that hard work can take us.

Here for most, hard work takes you to the end of the street and that's it. 

Davenport said: "Despite every challenge the one thing all children had was positive energy and the sport programmes run really help house that energy."

The bike ride itself starts Sunday 7th 05:00. The early start will be essential as the heat as early as 9:00am is exhausting. All are fearing the soaring temperatures but the Olympian in them will always shine through... We will let you know how we get on tomorrow.... Wish us luck.., according to the locals we will be needing it!


Rebecca Adlington, Jo Jackson, Ross Davenport and Mel Marshall are preparing for one of the biggest challenges of their lives as they get set to cycle 280 miles across Zambia to raise money for Sport in Action.

The four swimmers – who have competed at 10 Olympic Games between them – are cycling from Livingstone on a four-day challenge, supported by British Gas and UK Sport, to the capital Lusaka.

The quartet are raising money for Sport in Action for whom City of Derby head coach and former European champion Marshall is an ambassador.

They will stay with local families during the journey and visit numerous projects in Zambia, including UK Sport’s ‘Go Sisters’, before giving swimming lessons at a pool in Lusaka, newly-renovated with £13,000 raised at a charity ball by Marshall.

The swimmers are hoping to raise at least £50,000 to help fund the construction of a physio wing alongside an AIDS hospital.

European Champs 2016