No Ordinary Rally

What do you do when 8th week comes to an end and exams have been taken? When the Balls and their associated hangovers are just fading memories, leaving you with three months of nothing but the world cup or the new term to begin?

Many people would argue that the following are the best things to do with your time:
1) Become a tourist guide
2) Catch a wild trout and eat it for dinner
3) Hold a fake protest against 1920’s jazz music
4) Serve Earl Grey tea in Russia’s Red Square
5) Climb a mountain over 5000ft
6) Go to the mobile phone throwing championships in Finland.
7) Perform a Shakespearian monologue in a classical amphitheatre.

New College Graduate John Rendel who runs the growing charity Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS), thinks that he has come up with a way to get all these things into one wild adventure.

His solution is U Rally – a two or four week road trip in August to wherever you want to go! Participants compete for points scored by completing up to 51 ‘Pub Story’ Challenges, like those featured above. Through the pub story ‘points multiplier map’, you can increase the points you score by completing the challenges further from home. Teams also score points by ticking off potentially hundreds of postcard challenges which often involve simply visiting marvellous places in Europe, North Africa and the closer bits of Asia.

The winning team in the four week event will receive the much coveted ‘Hub Cap’ trophy with those in the two week event (the two weekers) competing for the slightly less coveted but no less envy-inducing ‘Steering Wheel’ trophy.

The whole event is being run to raise money for the charity PEAS, with the aim being that 100 cars will raise enough to launch an entire, sustainably-financed secondary school under the PEAS ‘smart aid’ model. The event costs £100 per-person to enter and each team is asked to raise a further £750 for PEAS.

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The charity PEAS was founded in 2005 and now runs 5 low-fee secondary schools in Uganda. With many African governments introducing Universal Primary Education, many students are finishing primary school but then are unable to follow on to secondary school because of lack of quality and access to state secondary schools. PEAS is trying to change this situation by creating affordable and high quality schools, as well as trying to improve state run schools with the help of the local governments.

The next sign-up window for the U Rally event is at 4pm on Sunday May 9th, with the last a month later. All you need is a car (just get a dodgy old banger for £300), a route, some mates, two or more weeks free from August 1st and a sense of fun. This definitely beats sitting around all summer.

Even if you can’t make it to the event this summer, U Rally is giving you the chance to make a quick buck by paying £50 for every team you encourage to sign up. Just ask the team to record your name on the sign up page as they register.