I am a 27 year old chartered surveyor currently between jobs. I decided to use this opportunity to take on a challenge of a different sort that would test me mentally and physically, and enable me to raise lots of money for some really good causes – LandAid and ‘Footballs For Fun’.

I responded to an article I read in The Metro and now I am cycling approximately 8,000 miles from Cairo to Cape Town in order to get to the World Cup in time. I will be travelling on a shoe string budget, camping all the way, or relying on strangers and any contacts people havefor hospitality, even a shower if I’m lucky.

Hello, my name is Dickon Broadhurst

Please help me complete this trip by sponsoring me anything you can and helping me to reach my ambitious total of £20,000. The total is approaching £900 and my justgiving site still only states 4%. I have 5 months to push it further so please help. Thank you, and be sure to follow my blog or look at my website (www.cycletothecup.co.uk).

A big adventure…

Hello all. I thought I’d start my first official blog before I leave on my cycle adventure from Cairo to Cape Town with some sort of introduction. My name is Dickon Broadhurst and I am a 27 year old chartered surveyor. Tired of life in the corporate world of property (although if I’m honest it would seem they tired of me…..an unfortunate redundancy in November), I turned my attention to adventure and challenge. In recent years I’ve developed a love for running races and similar challenges, so I wanted something that was going to be physically demanding. None of this swanning off to Thailand to sit on the beach and drink cocktails (although I may need to do that after this trip). I also wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone in the hope that I might learn something.

As if by magic, my heroine of the day (Lindsey) posts an article in The Metro with exactly the challenge I wanted to do and I knew that this was the only opportunity I was going to get. The conditions my family have set me are that I must raise a crazy amount of money (£20,000) for two really good causes, and also that I must try and use this experience to catapult me into a high paying highly successful role in property development. My initial focus however, is to use my trip to reach that figure of £20,000 by whatever means possible so any sponsorship would be most welcome (please see the sponsors page for more info). I definitely can’t rely on my friends to get to that figure. Next on the to-do list is to have lots of fun and learn about each country as I go, enjoy the different cultures and people and to understand what it means to sit on a bike for almost 6 months and camp every night….highly pleasurable no doubt.

Its 1am. I still have a lot to do. My flight leaves in 13 hours and I finally picked up my bike this evening….so far I have travelled approximately a mile on it. It was already making a noise but denial is often a great cure…I think it’s just nervous. I haven’t even packed it yet…but nothing gets done properly unless you’re under pressure.

So if Football be the Food of Love, Play On!

Your average football hooligan aside, football is often a sport that brings people together. No more poignantly is this felt than when the Jerries and the Brits had a kick about on the Christmas Day armistice during the 1st World War. It is this idea of unification or common language that I hope to explore as I travel. It is this reason that I chose ‘Footballs For Fun’ as one of my charities. They provide footballs throughout Africa, and use football (or the provision of footballs) as a vehicle to raise money for worthy aid organizations that help sick children. Sport can act as both a common language, but also as a great tool to motivate and teach young people. I read in The Week that 72% of state school pupils don’t play regular sport. This is a total travesty, and brings me nicely onto my second charity LandAidLandAid help with the construction of facilities, including sports facilities, that aim to provide opportunities to those less fortunate and ideally address problems in the long term.

So as a twenty something brought up playing rugby and hockey, who am I to preach the positive influence of football. I can’t name the 1966 World Cup Team nor do I reserve much of my time to passionately support the Blues, the Reds or Rotherham FC. And as my video on the website shows, I can’t play either. But then that is exactly why I want to learn, and perhaps impart something of what I find out. If anything, I might become a better player. And what better way than to make my way by bike to the World Cup through a continent that lives and breathes football, is experiencing its first world cup and has six teams represented. I am convinced everyone I meet will have a favourite team, a favourite player and an opinion on who is going to win and I intend to record that through film, video and blog. I also have decided to take a ball with me….if it makes it to our destination that will be an achievement in itself.

Please do sponsor me and help me get that total. Even small donations could provide a football which will bring no end of enjoyment to the kids who have never played with a proper football before. The footballs can also be branded and made in a countries colours, which is fitting for the World Cup. If you can’t sponsor, you could donate a small amount of money to the Team to help buy us some food (both Lindsey and I have the facility for this on our websites).

So onwards to Cairo – Africa, to 8,000 miles, to saddle sores, to deserts and to camping (something I am probably woefully inexperienced for)….and to adventure. I cannot wait!!!

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