Five-year-old Ezra cycles 500km for charity
- Credit: Sean Gooch
A five-year-old boy from Collier Row has cycled over 300 miles in 11 weeks to fundraise for children in India.
Ezra-Zion Gooch has raised over £600 since January 11 by cycling for around 58 hours after getting a new bike for Christmas.
The money will be sent to family friends who are working in India to help children living in poor conditions receive safe housing and education.
Ezra told the Recorder: “I enjoy it because it’s exercise, and I like going on adventures.
“I like to discover new things, and want to cycle 500 miles next.”
His father Sean, a cycling instructor, added: “I’m really proud of him and his effort.
“Fortunately I had all that extra time to help him, and it was a good thing to be able to do."
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The South African expat, who has lived in the area since 1996, said Ezra was riding in the rain and snow, and he got back on his bike three days after he was concussed at school.
He then cycled 38 kilometres, his longest journey in one day, which took him just under four hours.
However, Sean admitted Ezra sometimes needed some chocolate or a new toy as an incentive to get through a long day of cycling.
Mum Claire, a lecturer at The Open University, and sister Joy-Anna, 17, would sometimes join the pair on their cycle rides, and during lockdown performing arts student Joy-Anna began cycling to Havering College.
The family’s neighbours watched the five-year-old cycling around the streets and have been supportive of the fundraiser, donating an estimated 40 per cent of the total amount raised.
When he’s not cycling, Ezra said he enjoys playing Mario Cart on his Wii and iPad.
He added: “I’m glad to be back at school because I missed playing with my friends.”
Sean praised the rise in people cycling over the past year, and said more people were getting on their bikes rather than driving or using public transport.
“Mothers are asking for lessons so they can cycle with their children," he added.
Exercise app Strava found cycling has increased by more than 35pc in London during the pandemic.
Donate to Ezra’s fundraiser at https://www.gofundme.com/f/29rrf83fao