Kind-hearted trekkers delight Peru kids with visit and help finish library

Inca trekkers including Doncaster Rovers' players James Coppinger (second left), Mark Wilson (fourth left) and James O'Connor (sixth left) line up outside Trespass - one of the sponsors - at Doncaster's Lakeside Village.
Inca trekkers including Doncaster Rovers' players James Coppinger (second left), Mark Wilson (fourth left) and James O'Connor (sixth left) line up outside Trespass - one of the sponsors - at Doncaster's Lakeside Village.
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They may be thousands of miles from Doncaster - but youngsters at a school in Peru have plenty of reasons to be avid Rovers fans.

That’s because pupils at the Camicancha School have finally been able to complete a library project thanks to a team of walkers from the club, who dropped in on them as part of a charity trek.

Players, staff and fans taking part in the Rovers IncaTrek in South America found time to donate help, money and materials to the school, even though they have been facing a gruelling challenge climbing up in the Andes to the ancient city of Machu Picchu.

They are taking part in the trek to raise thousands of pounds for the children’s charity, NSPCC.

Along the way, the group have visited deprived schools in the area, handing out Doncaster Rovers memorabilia and stationery to the children along the way.

“Friday was probably the highlight for us, as we visited one of the schools,” said Liam Scully, one of the trekkers and Rovers Community Foundation manager.

“It was an amazing place, right in the middle of nowhere.

“There were 30 kids, all with beaming smiles on their faces. We distributed medals, posters and vital supplies that they have wanted for quite a while.

“Something as simple as a pen and a pencil, to them, is difficult to get hold of and we brought hundreds of them. It was quite emotional seeing how happy they were over the simple things.”

The links now look to grow stronger between Doncaster Rovers and the Camicancha school, with members of the team donating money to ensure the complete construction of a new library.

Liam added: “The school showed us around the library they are building. The foundations were there, but they had no floor and no supplies and it would cost $160 to put the floor down and get supplies.

“Two of the guys put $200 in and that is going to set that school up for years to come.

“It was an amazing feeling and an amazing sight to see how happy the local people and the staff were.

“It was just amazing to see how much of a difference we could make with what was a relatively small amount of money. We’ve now all vowed to send money every year to this school.

“If I am completely honest, it was so emotional that once we got started on the trek again, I sat down and sobbed my heart out for 20 minutes.

“It is just amazing how little resources these guys survive on.

“We take things for granted and this journey has opened my eyes.”

Liam said the trek had proved particularly tough for players Mark Wilson and James Coppinger, who were ill as a result of altitude sickness.

He said: “We have a very open and honest group here and we have all spoken of our emotions. After everything we have been through, reaching the summit of Machu Picchu could be the most emotional moment of our lives.

“I can’t stress just how much the whole group has stuck together. There is no doubt that, once we reach the peak, there will be a few tears - especially from me!”

The group is set to return to Britain later this week.

Log onto www.justgiving.com/roversincatrek to donate to the IncaTrek appeal or text the word INCA to 70777 and £1.50 will be donated to the NSPCC. Texts cost £1.50 plus standard message rate.

n Players’ sickness: Back page.