LIFELONG Watford fan Andy Smith is preparing to take on Brazil next year as he gears up for a 5,000-mile charity bike ride between January and June 2014, where he will visit all 12 World Cup cities and every stadium.
Andy has nicknamed this unique South American adventure as ‘Smudger's Samba Soccer Stadium Cycle Safari’.
Watford’s very own Community Sports & Education Trust will benefit from Andy’s hard-work as one of two charities he’s raising money for. Click HERE
to visit Andy’s blog and to make a donation.
For 22-years Andy has had a season ticket at Vicarage Road. When he was eight, Andy was a mascot when the Hornets beat Arsenal 3-0 in 1986 to complete the double over the Gunners in just two days.
Asked why he would take on such a tough challenge, Andy said: "Earlier this year I decided I wanted and needed to do something more meaningful than my corporate job in London.
“Inspired by a cycling holiday in Cuba and, somewhat ironically, a 400-mile charity ride from Munich to Trieste organised through my work, I decided to take the plunge and resign so I could undertake this adventure.”
The plan originally evolved from the dream of going to the World Cup in Brazil to follow England, to then combining this with cycling around for charity, aiming to explore the country along with the football theme leading up to the tournament.
This challenge involves a lot of training and preparation mentally and physically.
Andy’s journey will begin in Porto Alegre – in the south of Brazil and will finish in Manaus – the heart of Amazonas, and in-between he will stop at every World Cup stadium.
He will be cycling an average of 50-miles per day over the course of five-months in most likely 25-degree heat and high humidity.
He added: “I'm confident and determined that I'll make it, despite never having done a cycle tour of more than five-days and never having set foot in South America before, and not even speaking Portuguese, yet.”
Another important reason why he will face this adventure is to raise money for charity. “I used an important word earlier and that word was 'meaningful'.
“I hope this trip will be life-changing for me, but I really hope it can also positively impact many other people; therefore I couldn't take on such a challenge without also trying to raise a lot of money for some amazing charities.
“So I've chosen to support two charities: Laureus Sport For Good Foundation – which includes projects in both Brazil and England, and Watford FC's Community Sports and Education Trust - much closer to me and home.”
Laureus Foundation works with young people trying to overcome the limitations imposed by challenging social issues including poverty, homelessness, war, violence, drug abuse, discrimination and AIDS.
Meanwhile, the Hornets’ Community Trust is engaged with thousands of local children and young people, disabled and adults, making a positive difference for all through sport and learning.
If you would like to have further information on the trip, follow Andy’s steps on the way and make a donation for a good cause, please visit his blog HERE