TV-star Bethany has real pedal power

12:02pm Saturday 23rd November 2013

A MILFORD HAVEN teenager has proved to be a real ‘hero’ by pedalling across the UK on a rickshaw for Children in Need.

Sixteen-year-old Bethany Freeman, who has Down’s Syndrome, was one of five young people taking part in The One Show’s Team Rickshaw challenge to raise money for Children in Need.

Viewers of the BBC show tuned in to watch the group’s progress as they pedalled 700 miles in just eight days, accompanied by presenter Alex Jones.

Bethany’s mum, Amanda, who supported her daughter on the trek described the experience as a “tremendous adventure”.

“It was much harder than I imagined it would be,” said Amanda, who also did her share of the cycling.

Amanda said the lack of sleep, coupled with being away from home and her dad Paul was very tough for Bethany, but she rose to the challenge.

“I learnt that Bethany can do anything when she puts her mind to it,” she added.

Amanda said the team became like a second family, even adapting the rickshaw to play tracks by Queen and Bonnie Tyler to help keep Bethany motivated.

Setting off from the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland on November 8, the team travelled through Scotland, into Wales, and then on to the finish line in TV’s ‘Albert Square’ during the live BBC Children in Need show on Friday, November 16.

At just 4’ 11”, Portfield School pupil Bethany was the shortest rider of the group, and had to wear platform trainers just to reach the rickshaw’s pedals.

The group pedalled around the clock, with riders taking turns to cover the gruelling nightshift.

A minor fall on day five had Bethany’s supporters worried, but the teenager was back on the bike the next day and raring to carry on with the challenge.

“Bethany was a total trooper,” said Luke Campbell, spokesman for Team Rickshaw.

All five riders have been supported by projects funded by Children in Need, and were taking part in the challenge to raise as much money as possible for other young people across the country.

Started in 2011, The One Show’s Rickshaw Challenge has raised millions of pounds for Children in Need, with this year’s effort bagging more than £1.3million in donations.

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