Jul 20 2012 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Friday
TROSSACHS teenagers Liam Burnett and Daniel Spiers set off today on a school holiday they’ll never forget.
The intrepid McLaren High School pupils head off on the epic 951-mile long JOGLE trip – John o’Groats to Land’s End.
Liam (15) and Daniel (16) will be cycling the famous route to raise money for the charity All You Need Is Love UK, which aims to secure an education for the children of migrant Burmese workers in Mae Sot on the Thai/Burma border.
Before they headed north, Liam told the Observer: “This has been a huge challenge for us, even before the cycle begins!
“We have learned so much about organising the event and early on we realised we had to attract separate sponsors to help us fund the trip.
“We are grateful to Home Sale Online who heard about our challenge through Daniel and who agreed to donate £1,000 towards funding our trip – without this we are not sure if we could have managed to go ahead.”
In May, Liam was given the opportunity to visit the schools in Mae Sot during his work experience week from school.
He said: “I had an amazing time in Mae Sot. I heard about the atrocities which the children had witnessed and could not quite get my head around what they had been through. But they were so positive about their futures.
“They told me about the jobs they wanted to do when they were older whether to become footballers, nurses, pilots, teachers … but it was explained to me that very few will realise their dreams unless their education could be secured.
“There are tens of thousands of migrant children in Mae Sot and only the minority are currently being offered any form of education.
“Education is something we all take for granted and sometimes even wish that we didn’t need to go to school!
“In Mae Sot the children love every minute they are at school, they cannot get enough. While I was there I taught the children how to play rugby – they were very hardy, they ran around with no shoes on and landed during tackles on sun baked earth but never once moaned or groaned!
“I gave a presentation to them about my life in Scotland but one mistake I made was that the presentation had Scottish music playing in the background and they insisted that I taught them how to do Scottish dancing.”
Liam went on: “During our cycle, if I am struggling at any point, just remembering my time in Mae Sot will motivate me to carry on. I, in turn, can then help motivate Daniel.”
The boys have been helped by a number of local sponsors, receiving cycle clothing from Endura, camping equipment from Vango and exercise tips from Physio Matters in Buchlyvie.
Wheels in Callander taught the boys bike mechanics and supplied them with a service kit. Already the boys have raised money by bag packing at Callander Co-op, collecting at M&S Dunblane and holding a car boot sale.
On their return they have a stall on Sunday, August 12, in Callander and collection in Ancaster Square.
And on Monday, when they reach Callander on day four of the journey, a fundraising afternoon has been arranged at Bridgend, Callander, with live music, a barbecue and fun between 2.30 and 5pm.
Liam said: “We have a support vehicle coming the full trip with us and DSigns of Stirling have put vinyls all over the vehicle of all our sponsors and who we are fundraising for.
“The fuel for the support vehicle is our biggest single cost of the journey, but due to our age a necessary component.”
The boys will be updating a blog throughout the journey at www.jogle-2012.blogspot.co.uk, where donations can also be made.