Monifieth man: ‘I’m a lucky person it’s time I gave something back’

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Skydiving, climbing an active volcano and coming face-to-face with terrifying sharks and crocodiles.

It’s a hair-raising list of activities that most of us wouldn’t dream of attempting but Monifieth daredevil Mike McNally has already done them all in the name of charity.

The 24-year-old aims to raise 500 for Africa On The Ball, an organisation helping the poor in Zambia through football.

So far, Mike has raised more than 270, which will go towards buying a bus for the community of Kalingalinga.

Mike, who played football as a pupil at Monifieth High School, said: “Football has given me so much pleasure over the years and it’s time that I gave something back to the sport that has brought me so much joy.

“We are all so lucky. We have so many possibilities available to us.

“We have the choice to chase our dreams. There’s a massive portion of the world who don’t get that opportunity.

“The people of Kalingalinga dream of basic stuff clean water, food, an education, a chance.”

Mike was inspired to fundraise by his friend Andrew Jenkin, who was one of the founders of Africa on the Ball.

The charity has established a football club in Kalingalinga which, as well as being about sport, includes a food programme and an education fund.

The idea is to provide regular nutritious meals to the poor, as well as helping team members complete their basic education.

One of Africa On The Ball’s ongoing projects has been fundraising to buy a bus for the community.

As well as reducing the team’s commuting costs fixtures, the bus would act as a social enterprise, providing jobs and sustainable incomes to Kalingalinga.

When he heard about the project, Mike decided to help while fulfilling his dream of travelling at the same time.

In December 2013, he sold all his possessions and set off backpacking around Australia.

Once there he hiked on the Overland Track, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and Kata Tjuta, as well as cage diving with Great White sharks and a crocodile.

He then continued his adventures in Indonesia, climbing Mount Batur and Mount Rinjani both active volcanoes before skydiving from 14,000 feet.

Mike aims to reach his fundraising target of 500 by New Year.

He added: “Although I’d never attempted anything like this before, I’m committed to achieving this goal.

“I am an extremely fortunate individual, and I thought it would be great if I could give something back during my travels.

“But, while one person can make a change, only together can we change the world.”

Zambia is one of the world’s poorest nations. Five million people more than one third of the country’s population have no access to clean water.

Widespread poverty and the prevalence of HIV and AIDS mean that the average life expectancy of the population is just 47 years.

To donate to Africa On The Ball, visit sponsorme.co.uk/mikemcnally.

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