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Olympic champion Heather Moyse asks for help in sending bikes to kids in Ghana

05/02/2012 05:35 EDT | Updated 07/02/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Rugby star and Olympic champion bobsledder, Heather Moyse is looking to share her newfound passion for cycling where it counts.

The budding track cyclist is asking Canadians to help donate 5,000 bikes to Ghana via the Cadbury Bicycle Factory program.

It's free and extremely easy.

Just go to www.thebicyclefactory.ca and sign up. Then it's a matter of dragging a candy icon across the screen, turning it into a virtual bike part. You can create up to five parts a day — and a bike is created every time a total of 100 parts is reached.

Thanks to Kraft Foods, Cadbury's parent company, an actual bicycle will go to a student in the cocoa-growing regions of Ghana.

"We're trying to promote families to do it together, or parents to do it with their children, before they go to bed and stuff like that," Moyse said in an interview.

"It's for free. Not very many of these programs to help other people around the world are actually free."

A bike in Africa can serve many purposes.

"The bicycle can transform into an ambulance, it can transform into a water-carrier, it can transform into a schoolbus," said Moyse.

Since 2009, the program has delivered close to 13,000 bikes to students in remote communities of Ghana.

This year's Canadian goal is to build 5,000 bicycles before the campaign concludes at the end of the July. More than 1,000 have already been created.

The bicycles are specially designed one-speed models with a sturdy frame made for rural Ghana. They are called Nframa, the Ghanaian word for "wind" as a symbol of the mobility and freedom they provide.

Moyes, a 34-year-old native of Summerside, P.E.I., who now makes her home in Toronto, is no stranger to charitable work.

She is involved with the Right to Play movement and has spent time developing disabled sports programs in Trinidad and Tobago.

She recently competed in her third sport for Canada: track cycling at the Pan American Cycling Championships.

She has also represented her country at two Olympics in bobsled, winning in 2010, and at two Rugby World Cups.

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