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Dynamic Duo Fight For A Tidy Taff

Two unlikely allies team up for Taff Tidy, a 42 mile walk from source to sea of the River Taff, culminating with a mass-participation river cleanup World Record Attempt to highlight the importance of global access to water and protecting our waterways.
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World-champion plant-based triathlete and multiple record-breaking cyclist Kate Strong teams up with Dr Numair Masud, a globally recognised freshwater scientist at Cardiff University, refugee and human rights activist to walk from the source to sea of the River Taff, located in South Wales over two days, attempting a world record with hundreds of participants in mass cleaning the River Taff.

Kate & Numair
Kate and Numair will undertake the 2-day walk covering 42 miles on foot while discussing various social, environmental and political topics that relate to access to water, as well as protection and restoration of our waterways.

Starting at Brecon, the “Taff Tidy” walk will start on 5 June 2024, finishing in Cardiff Bay with the world record attempt of “Most participants in a river clean-up (multiple locations)” on Friday 7 June 2024, the day before World Ocean Day.

During the walk, Kate and Numair will record live conversations between the two and discuss key issues related to water security, emphasising why access to freshwater is critical for humanity’s future. Highlighting environmental challenges and the severe inequality in accessing healthy freshwater locally and globally will be a key priority of this wide ranging discussion. The socio-political drivers of water insecurity will also be discussed, as well as suggesting solutions that can be adopted at a local community level but also at an intergovernmental level. Kate and Numair will be camping during the nights of Taff Tidy, and following the length of the river as closely as possible until they reach the mouth of the river at Cardiff Bay barrage.

Kate, 45, only started training for athletic success in her early thirties following a relationship breakdown that forced her to re-evaluate her life and focus on her passions. Within two years she was crowned age-group world champion in long-distance triathlon in 2014, went on to break three world records in static cycling in 2021 and recently cycled 3,300 miles around mainland Britain visiting 30 communities taking action to mitigate climate change.

Kate said: “For me, sport is no longer about the medals and competition, I see my sporting activities as a means to connect people to the climate crisis and hear about what’s important to them. It’s critical that we all start doing more to protect the natural resources, such as our rivers, that are vital to a healthy life for us all.

Numair, 33, was fascinated with the natural world since his childhood and growing up in Pakistan, a developing nation, with a strong colonial history, is all too aware of the injustices faced by people who are unable to access clean water; a fundamental human right. Having completed his PhD in Biosciences at Cardiff University, specialising in freshwater welfare, he remains dedicated to environmental activism at a personal level. Moreover, as a gay refugee, Numair has also championed the rights of minoritized LGBTQ+ people and consistently highlights the intersectionality of human rights and environmental activism.

Numair said: “Climate change is essentially a water security challenge for humanity’s future. Increased incidences of floods, extreme weather events and rising sea levels will pose, arguably, the greatest existential challenge that we face. With less than 0.5% of water on our planet being usable freshwater for humans, the urgency to ensure secure and accessible water resources for all of humanity cannot be overstated. Being part of this walk is a chance for me as an underrepresented minority to be part of meaningful change in raising awareness about the critical state of water security. With expert opinions indicating that future global conflicts will be fought over access to potable water, the Taff Tidy project arrives at a critical time.

For Kate and Numair, this coming challenge is about more than a walk.  They will continue to share knowledge and skills they discuss on Taff Tidy through tailored workshops, speaking engagements and an upcoming book and paper.

We need to keep highlighting how our rivers are suffering due to neglect and pollution, as well as the wider concern of water scarcity. We cannot wait much longer before we see a long-term and detrimental impact to the quality of life for millions of people and this can only be alleviated by taking action today.

To register for the world record (free participation) or information on how you can sponsor Taff Tidy, click here:

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