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Schoolboy cyclist clocks up a virtual 256km to raise money for the homeless

James Cunningham, aged nine, completed the challenge in his kitchen in Clontarf.

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James Cunningham (Jago Communications/PA)

James Cunningham (Jago Communications/PA)

James Cunningham (Jago Communications/PA)

A nine-year-old cyclist clocked up 256km as he raised funds for the homeless on a virtual ride in his kitchen.

James Cunningham from Clontarf spent 12 hours in the saddle over two days.

He had raised more than 2,800 euro for homeless charity the Peter McVerry Trust by Monday night.

James originally set himself a target of 200km but with sister Elise, 12, and little brother Benjamin, six, cheering him on he managed an impressive 256km.

The schoolboy was keen to help those affected by homelessness during the Covid-19 emergency.

“I had been thinking about people living without homes and wondering where they were going to go during the coronavirus and who was going to look after them with social distancing,” said James.

“It was playing on my mind so I spoke to my parents and asked them if I could ride my bike to raise money for charity. We agreed it was a good idea so I started training on my dad’s home turbo trainer and we agreed the charity and my target.

“I didn’t think I would go over the 200km so I am really proud of myself.

“I really enjoyed it and all my friends and family were brilliant supporting me with messages and videos all the way.

“My brother and sister were feeding me drinks and making homemade energy snacks. We even had a music set list each day and I got to pick the music. It has definitely made me think about helping people in need and I’d really like to do this again.”

To support James’s charity effort visit justgiving.com/fundraising/james-cunningham2020

PA