A South African expatriate went around Doha on his scooter for 16 hours recently on a charity adventure to raise awareness and funds for a non-profit animal rescue and shelter.
Gavin McNeil set off from Corniche and scooted 95km to support Paws Rescue Qatar (Paws), which provides a safe haven for homeless animals until they can be placed in loving homes.
McNeil kicked off his adventure on the evening of May 11 in the presence of his family and Paws supporters and its founding members, Alison Caldwell and Emily Blinkinsop.
His aim was to cover 100km in a 12 hour period, starting off at the fountains on the Doha corniche and finishing at the same location. He covered the areas of Qatar University, Duhail up to Umslal Mohamed and returned through Gharaffa, Al Waab back to Corniche, taking a total of 16 hours and covering 95km.
“It was a remarkable endeavour indeed as it was my first such effort. With a blood blister on the foot and a seized up tendon on the other leg - I had to call it quits and settle with 5km short of the target, finishing at 8.45am on Saturday morning,” an excited McNeil told Gulf Times.
“I was really happy to finish my ride. It was a great sense of accomplishment. Though the long ride was painful physically, the sense of achievement overcomes all other obstacles” McNeil explained.
Encouraged by the success of his maiden effort, McNeil is also planning such adventures for noble causes in the future. “I have not specifically planned and set dates for anything for the future as of now. But I have plans for such projects and in December this year, I may take up a seven day ride around Qatar,” he added.
This charity scooter adventure was inspired by McNeil’s love of scooting since he was a young child. McNeil’s World of Adventures -a social media blog- was founded earlier this year, aims to raise awareness and funds for charity organisations in Qatar. On this maiden scooter adventure - Paws captured his attention as being in need and making a real difference in the community - not only by saving abandoned animals but also involving and educating the youth and the community.
McNeil, 28, is a restaurant manager in Doha and loves to raise as much money as possible to help the animals in Qatar. The summer heat and dust make the outdoor conditions extreme for any abandoned pet or stray animal.
Paws Rescue Qatar, founded in 2014, is a Qatar British Business Forum awarded community animal welfare project. It is run entirely by volunteers and donations by animals lovers of Qatar and across the world. Currently Paws cares for more than 240 abandoned animals at the shelter, situated towards Sealine Beach area.