A 12-year-old boy aims to become the youngest person to cycle around Malta.

Neil Cassar, from Żejtun, plans to finish the 100km challenge on Tuesday and raise money for Puttinu Cares to help sick children and their families.

He will be accompanied by his coach, Fabio Spiteri and aims to complete the route in four and a half hours.

Neil trains six times a week and wanted to take part in the challenge to help others his age.

Puttinu Cares helps sick children and I wish to do my bit and help those children and their families by collecting money for them through cycling,” he said.

The young triathlete will start off from Msida church at 7am and cycle a route designed by his coach that avoids the hillier parts of the north, taking two breaks along the way. Other cyclists are welcome to join him and are invited to donate.

His passion for cycling started with a balance bike on the Marsascala promenade and Żejtun’s public gardens before he progressed to become one of Malta’s leading young athletes.

Last year, he came first in the Ti2 EuroSport Duathlon race organised by Agones SFC and placed second in the Under 15 category in the Malta Mountain Bike Association National Championships.

Neil Cassar in action.Neil Cassar in action.

“I feel free and peaceful when I am cycling and, in the future, I hope to continue practising these sports, maybe even travel abroad and compete,” he said.

Spiteri, his coach for the past two years, described the young athlete as “exceptionally talented”.

“He is a very mature athlete, and I have no doubt he will manage Tuesday’s cycle,” he said.

While Neil is kept busy with cycling, swimming, running and, of course, school, the young athlete does have other hobbies. 

“I spend my free time playing with my dogs, Jax, Sam and Tutu King, and, if the opportunity arises and it is windy, I practise kiteboarding if there are waves.”

For those who wish to donate: Cheques: Address: Puttinu Cares, Rainbow Ward, Level -1, Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre, Triq id-Donaturi tad-demm, Msida, MSD 2090.

BOV Mobile: Puttinu BOV Mobile, 7949 9423.

Bov Bank Transfer: Beneficiary Name: Puttinu Cares, Account Number: 400 1812 2134, IBAN: IBAN: MT70VALL220 13000000040018122134 Swift Code: VALLMTMT.

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