Cardiff business man cycles the virtual Tour de France to fund a computer lab in Malawi

Dan Clegg, managing director of Community Utilities, which is part of Cardiff-based amber energy, has raised enough money to fully-fund the creation of a computer lab for a school in rural Malawi, bringing intranet access, learning materials, tablet computers and a specially-trained teacher to around 300 students a year.

Dan, 37, from Cardiff, cycled the full Tour de France course of 2,165 miles in just 23 days, matching the professionals mile by mile. He completed the task from home, using Zwift, and didn’t miss a single day of work in the process. And to top it off Dan road alongside 2018’s Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas, for five miles of the journey, even beating the cycling legend on a hill climb.

While the challenge was a personal one for Dan, who wanted to test his physical and mental limits and pay tribute to his former boss, mentor and friend – Phil Rasmussen – who was tragically killed in a road accident two years ago – he also set out to raise the funds needed to provide a computer lab via amber energy’s charitable arm, Power2Africa (P2A).

P2A has been working with The Turing Trust, and Malawi-based Centre for Youth and Development, to deliver similar projects in other areas of the country, which is among the least electrified countries in the world, with only around 11% of its population having access to electricity. While 42% those in urban areas have the use of electricity, just 4% in Malawi’s rural communities do.*

This project will cost £2,850 to deliver and will provide 350 students with access to equipment and teaching that will be vital to them should they wish to go on to attend university.

Dan Clegg, managing director of Community Utilities, said, “When I first came up with the idea of this challenge, I knew I’d need to find ways to stay motivated and so I chose both personal and charitable goals to keep me focused. And I’m glad I did, because seven-hour days in the saddle, back-to-back, really tested my physical ability and mental resolve.

“I’m so grateful to all the individuals and companies who donated to this challenge, helping to smash the target I set myself to fund the P2A project. The extra money will be used by the school to either purchase more IT equipment, or to otherwise improve the computer lab and school environment.”

Dan added, “I’m also pleased to have secured the eternal bragging rights that come from beating Geraint Thomas up a climb, even if it was virtually and he was just warming up for his real training session. But that effort really took it out of me and made the rest of that day’s riding particularly gruelling.”

Nick Proctor, founder and CEO of amber energy, said of Dan’s achievement, “Charities have really been struggling during the pandemic. Not only are more people in need of their help, but support has dried up as people cut their donations.

“Dan’s innovative way to raise money by completing the Tour de France in his kitchen really epitomises what amber energy as a group of companies, and what all of our employees, are all about. He’s really set the bar for the next challenge!”

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