Two brothers from Caterham are taking on a trio of triathlons this summer, to raise money for the British Red Cross Society’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal.
Like many children, Joseph Longley, 10, has struggled to process the distressing news coming from the war-torn country:
“I just felt it was unfair for the people of Ukraine to have to put up with it. They deserve the best life possible and I felt like there was nothing I could do, so I got really sad about it.”
His mum Sue suggested fundraising as a way of helping Joseph cope:
“I wanted to turn his negative into a positive. When we talked about how money could help people it brought a real smile to his face and lifted his sadness.”
Brother Joshua, 8, was eager to join the challenge:
“I wanted to help Ukraine, too. It’s not fair they live a life worse than us.”
Neither of the boys, who attend Oakhyrst Grange School, had competed in a triathlon before but both Sue and her husband Andrew had, and have been helping them train. Joseph and Joshua also had to learn how to master the transitions: the changeovers between the three disciplines of swimming, cycling and running.
“We put a bowl of water in the garden and practised putting our trainers on with wet feet!”
The brothers have now completed the three events: at their first triathlon, which took place at Trinity School, Croydon, in June, they were joined by 22 friends who are also raising money for the same cause. The second, at The Weald School in Billingshurst in July, was shortened because of the extreme weather, but the boys coped admirably with the heat.
(Above: pupils from Oakhyrst Grange helping Joseph and Joshua with their fundraising efforts)
(Above: Joshua Longley)
(Above: Joseph Longley)
The pair completed their final triathlon in Bognor Regis on 11 September. They have so far raised £1,655 and are pleased to know that this money will make a real difference. Joshua said: “I like raising money,” and Joseph stated: “Obviously, I enjoy doing the sports, but I like to think that I’m helping a lot.”
(ABove: Joshua Longley)