Mea Cleathro, aged nine, is a keen cyclist from North Shields. She rode 285 miles in February to raise funds for World Bicycle Relief’s BEEP, a programme which puts bicycles into the hands of school children in rural Africa.
When Mea heard about World Bicycle Relief through the Sufferfest videos, she decided to get involved. She presented to her mum, Katy, a detailed plan to raise £285 — the cost of three bicycles — by cycling 285 miles.
The amazing Mea has hugely exceeded her target with more than £1000 raised so far.
Mea said: “I’m obsessed with cycling, so when I heard that some children have to walk for two hours to get to school, I thought it would be nice to raise some money, so they’d get to cycle, too. I’m quite impressed by how much we’ve raised.”
Mea is a member of Wearside’s Hetton Hawks Cycling club. She has been cycling for most of her life, competing in her first race at the age of five. Although she is used to regular training sessions, this was still a big challenge. She had to cycle an average of 95 miles a week to reach her goal.
Her mum Katy said: “I’m very proud of her on a lot of levels: just to be so selfless, but also the way she’s stuck with it. She’s done most of this all by herself — with some lovely support from other kids in her cycling club, who have cycled with her. Mea is completely driven by cycling,” Katy said. “A few years ago, she made a plan of when she’s going to be in the Olympics.”
Mea was also encouraged to keep going by cyclocross racer, Helen Wyman, who tweeted her support.