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Suffolk singer Laura Wright to embark on 400km bike ride across Zambia

PUBLISHED: 20:00 26 June 2018

Former South African cricketer Jacques Rudolph with Harry Rowland, centre, and Laura Wright Picture: BENJAMIN TOMS PHOTOGRAPHY

Former South African cricketer Jacques Rudolph with Harry Rowland, centre, and Laura Wright Picture: BENJAMIN TOMS PHOTOGRAPHY

Benjamin Toms Photography

Suffolk’s singing soprano Laura Wright will swap her ballgown for a bike when she takes on a 400km cycle ride across Zambia to save African wildlife.

The Wild Ride team are aiming to raise £75,000 for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Picture: DAVID SHEPHERD WILDLIFE FOUNDATIONThe Wild Ride team are aiming to raise £75,000 for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation Picture: DAVID SHEPHERD WILDLIFE FOUNDATION

Laura, who is originally from Framlingham, is best known as the “nation’s sporting soprano” due to her association with some of the UK’s top sporting events, including the Grand National and Rugby League.

She is also no stranger to performing for royalty – but there will be no pomp and ceremony when she joins a team of conservation ambassadors on the Wild Ride journey in July. The challenge will see Laura and her team mates – including her fiancé Harry Rowland and former South African cricketer Jacques Rudolph – pedal across Zambia to raise funds for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF).

Laura said: “I can’t lie – I’m really nervous about it! Singing is my job and it’s a craft I’ve learned and feel quite experienced at, but cycling is most definitely a hobby and something I’m no expert at. However, I know I’m in safe hands and I have the best team mates possible to ride along with.”

The six-day ride will see the team travel through the Kafue National Park and down to Victoria Falls in Livingstone – calling in at DSWF funded projects, a school and community groups along the way.

Laura Wright will cycle nearly 400km across Africa for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. No stranger to physical challenges, she launched the 2015 Friends Life Women's Tour in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ANDY ABBOTTLaura Wright will cycle nearly 400km across Africa for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. No stranger to physical challenges, she launched the 2015 Friends Life Women's Tour in Bury St Edmunds Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Chaperoned by local wildlife rangers, the team will cycle across the African plains, dodging all kinds of wildlife, which could include lions, elephants, crocodiles and hippos. The cyclists will brave mud roads and many challenges before arriving at Victoria Falls.

The Wild Ride team aims to raise £75,000 to support DSWF’s projects in Zambia and Zimbabwe, which help protect endangered species. The funds will target anti-poaching and park protection/rescue work, species rehabilitation and release, as well as community education.

Laura added: “This mission hopes to bring about long-term change by empowering local communities to make more sustainable decisions when it comes to the treatment of animals. There are no short term solutions, and so we need as many people to get behind us so we can ensure the long term protection of the beautiful species found there.”

Follow @DSWFWildlife #WildRide2018 on Twitter or visit davidshepherd.org to keep an eye on the team’s progress and donate.

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