A Countryfile presenter who sailed solo across the Atlantic no less than three times is taking on a punishing stage of the Tour de France to raise awareness for a disability charity.
Hannah White, a passionate cyclist and self confessed adventurer, will ride a steep 148km along the L’Etape du Tour, a leg of the famous race opened up to amateur cyclists for one day only.
Just 25 per cent of participants finish the gruelling trail and Hannah has admitted she feels “a little nervous”.
So to gain a bit of inspiration, she visited a cycling session for disabled children in Finsbury Park on Tuesday run by Action for Kids – a charity for which she is hoping to raise money and awareness.
She said: “I love cycling but this is the hardest thing I will have ever done. I’m feeling a bit nervous but I’m lucky that I have the physical ability to do something like this.
“When you see the kids here enjoying their cycling you can see they would love to be able to ride more, so I’ll be keeping my moaning to a minimum.
“It is unbelievable – they’re so inspiring. I wish I could take them out with me to cheer me on.”
Action for Kids helps children with physical and learning disabilities achieve greater independence across the UK.
In conjunction with cycling charity Pedal Power, which provides cycling facilities to people with disabilities in north London, Action for Kids runs a weekly bike activity session on the athletics track at Finsbury Park.
Tutor Michael Callan said: “We’re trying to develop an active lifestyle and get them into a situation where they feel confident and safe doing exercise.
“It boosts their self esteem, it is good for their bodies and gets them active and it’s important to give them the opportunity to do that.”
Cerebral Palsy sufferer Carenza O’Garro, 32, has been with Action for Kids since she was 12, and says the sessions are an important part of keeping herself active.
She said: “It is really fun and helpful, especially if you are in a wheelchair all the time. It helps me work my upper and lower body, which is important for my own fitness. It is hard to get a membership to a gym that has specialist equipment.”
Action for Kids relies on a variety of donations to fund its work. To donate to Hannah’s L’Etape du Tour challenge, visit her Just Giving page or text VELO96 to 70070 and an amount of either £1, £3 or £5.