A daring 13-year old is the youngest girl to ever kayak across the English Channel.
Thrill -seeker Maia Wallace-Loizou from Upper Edmonton, paddled 20 miles across the channel to France this afternoon.
Joining her was 15-year old Dylan Barber-May of Stamford Hill, and together they aimed to complete the challenge in less than four hours.
The courageous pair have so far raised £3,118 for Leaside Education Trust, which offers over 7,000 young people of Hackney a chance to take part in varying outdoor activities such as canoeing, mountain biking, kayaking and orienteering.
Maia who regularly attends the Leaside after school and at the weekends, decided on the challenge to raise enough cash to buy more equipment for the club. She says, “We want to do something to help the club because we love it so much. Lots of us go there to have fun and to get good at outdoor sports.”
With help and support from Olympic Medalists Alan Campell and Mark Hunter, Maia and Dylan have been training hard in cold conditions, in the early hours of the mornings. Dylan said: “ We have been doing six, eight and 12 – mile paddles to prepare, waking up at 6am to kayak in the cold and going again after school, but it’s worth it because this for Leaside.”
Specifically aimed to help the disadvantaged young people of east London, he adds: “It’s a great charity helping young, deprived Londoners to get out of the house, off the streets and do something fun which they can get good at.”
By Katherine Cantwell