Emmanuel Kelly Hands' Australian Ride Interview
Singer, song writer and inspiration Emmanuel Kelly is set to achieve another milestone – by riding in the first official Hands' Australian ride. Emmanuel will take part in the 500km bike ride by cycling on a specifically tailored tandem bike with a fellow rider. The pair, along with 35 other riders will start the ride from Parliament House in Canberra and finish at Lane Cove National Park in Sydney to raise funds for Australian charity, Hands Across the Water. The charity was established almost 10 years ago in response to the Boxing Day tsunami and has built numerous orphanages across Thailand which it continues to support.
There is definitely nothing ordinary about this extraordinary man. Emmanuel was abandoned as a baby in Iraq, and adopted by an Australian. He has undergone six surgeries since living in Australia and has never given up when faced with difficult obstacles. Since delivering a moving performance on X-Factor Australia in 2011, Emmanuel has released three singles and performed around the globe, yet his biggest goal now is conquering this arduous bike ride.
'After hearing about the experiences of my friends, Hands' riders Ray and Marg Miles, and performing at the recent Hands' Night of Celebration, there is no better way to support this amazing charity than to participate in the ride. I had my first ever bike ride in January and am so happy to be taking part in the Hands' Australian Ride. I decided to take on the challenge not only as a personal journey, but to give my support and raise awareness of Hands Across the Water," Emmanuel says.
The Hands' Australian Ride will cover a scenic route which passes through Gunning, Goulburn and Picton. Founder of Hands Across the Water, Peter Baines OAM will be participating in part of the ride. This is the first ride in Australia following thirteen successful bike rides in Thailand over the past six years, with the most recent one, marking the 10 year anniversary of the Boxing Day tsunami, held in January with 130 cyclists.
'We are honoured to have such special guests taking part in our first official Hands' Australian ride. It is truly inspiring to see what can happen when a community comes together to raise funds to provide shelter and education for hundreds of at-risk children of Thailand." Peter says.
The Hands' Australian Ride will commence at 7:30am from Parliament House on Thursday, 26th March, 2015.For more information on Hands Across the Water.
Interview with Emmanuel Kelly
Question: When did you commit to cycle 500km from Canberra to Sydney?
Emmanuel Kelly: It is crazy, isn't it? I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready… but the first time this proposal came to me I said I'd do it but the organisers encouraged me to take a week to think about my decision. I thought about it, over a week or two and said yes! I can't say I didn't think about pulling out but as of February I secured my place with seven weeks to prepare.
Question: Who is this cycling trip raising money for?
Emmanuel Kelly: Hands Across the Water - they do amazing things and I want to inspire Australians and myself.
Question: Why did you decide to cycle 500km from Canberra to Sydney?
Emmanuel Kelly: There were a number of reasons why I wanted to do this ride. It's going to be a fantastic personal journey and for Australia as well and of course, for Hands Across the Water. I think after this bike ride, I'll come out as a different person. I will aim to inspire myself and the charity; I hope to inspire the people of Australia to do the ride, also.
Question: Why did you want to raise money for Hands Across the Water?
Emmanuel Kelly: My family has been supporting Hands Across the Water for a very long time and I knew about the charity, through them. However I was approached to perform at an event for Hands Across the Water; I performed and then heard a lot about the charity, that night. I hope to raise awareness for Hands Across the Water.
Question: How have you been training for this ride?
Emmanuel Kelly: I am trying to train, six days a week. Although at the moment I'm closer to training five days a week. I will start to push myself to train six days a week, from now. I train an hour to an hour and a half, a day. We focus on intense training including muscle and endurance. I am working with two Personal Trainers, thanks to Fitness First who have sponsored the training with Jeremy along with Sharon Smith (former Big Brother contestant), who is a good friend of mine. They have both been training me, like crazy!
Question: Did you know what you were getting yourself into?
Emmanuel Kelly: It's hard work, it's really hard. I already trained and went to the gym, regularly however I didn't focus on my lower body – I spent a lot of time on core and upper body. Now, we are focusing on the legs a lot and I am waking up sore, every morning! I am eating a lot of carbs too – lovin' life!
Question: How can Australia's support your ride?
Emmanuel Kelly: The best way to support the ride is to tune in and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Follow my journey and get inspired by my ride! Donate to Hands Across the Water on their website www.handsacrossthewater.org.au
Interview by Brooke Hunter