Rugby boy Freddie, nine, treks 100km across the Sahara

Freddie Cannell
Freddie Cannell

Bilton Junior pupil Freddie Cannell braved scorching hot weather, snakes and sun burn to trek 100km across the Sahara desert.

Freddie, aged nine, returned from his four-day adventure this week and has helped raise £5,618 for his favourite charity Guide Dogs.

I love the thought that I can help a charity that changes people’s lives

Freddie Cannell, 9

He was joined by parents Matt and Lynne, a group of fundraisers and a camel called Rooney when he got tired and needed to hitch a ride.

Freddie said: “Some days were very long and tough in the heat, especially when I got sunburn and blisters, but I kept going.

“I rode on Rooney when it got really bad. Being on a bumpy camel when you feel sick isn’t very nice though.”

He said setting up camp was fun and he made a lot of friends while he was away.

“Climbing ‘Eric’, the largest sand dune in the area at 200 metres high, was a high point for me. The whole experience was amazing.”

Freddie said he got involved because he wanted to make a difference.

“Guide Dogs help blind and partially-sighted people and I love the thought that I can help a charity that changes people’s lives,” he said.

“With my mummy and daddy we have boarded a total of ten guide dogs in training and at the moment our second puppy Kiki.”

His parents are volunteers for the local fundraising branch, and they have previously all entered the Great North Run in order to raise money.

Matt, of Berrybanks, Bilton, said: “We also look after guide dogs, having already boarded nine dogs during their training at Leamington Spa.”

Matt said Freddie wanted to get involved since he took part in a similar trek last year, helping a visually impaired person.

Lynne said: “We are really proud of Freddie for wanting to get involved.”

People can still sponsor Freddie or visit