10-year old Yuri Lai Moat is hoping to embark upon the scenic Samoeng Loop, and all for one cause– to raise money for the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL). Yuri, a passionate diver and cyclist, hopes to combine his two interests by fundraising for the Coral Reef Alliance through a charity cycle on the third of February.
Yuri first developed his love of coral reefs when he started diving at eight years old. His love of cycling began as a result of his long distance touring cyclist father. “My love of cycling began when I got a nice bike during the 2020 Olympics which was when I started cycling with my Dad,” Yuri enthusiastically states.
The Coral Reef Alliance aims to save the world’s coral reefs by engaging on local, regional, and global levels to build coral reefs’ health with the hopes that they will adapt to climate change. Being one of the largest coral reef NGOs, the Coral Reef Alliance has utilized the latest science and community engagement continuously for approximately 30 years. With partnerships in Honduras, Mexico, and Hawai’i, the Coral Reef Alliance engages the global community in reducing threats to reefs, developing new conservation approaches, and promoting effective solutions for reef protection.
The Samoeng Loop does not come without its challenges. Cycling through the Samoeng Loop means enduring steep ascents upwards to 1140m, tough terrains, and of course all of the traffic. Yuri, who currently attends Panyaden School in Chiang Mai, Thailand has the perseverance and motivation to undergo this tough cycle:
“I definitely feel ready to tackle the cycle ride! I’ve done lots of training on hard, long distances and gradients. For example, I cycled from where I live in Pong Noi to Khun Chang Khian and back.” In response to possible circumstantial, elemental, or otherwise unpredictable factors that may affect Yuri’s ability to cycle, he exclaimed, “I am going to try and enjoy it!”
At first glance, coral reef preservation and cycling may seem unrelated, but cycling serves as a means of reducing carbon emissions thereby mitigating climate change. Climate change affects the coral reefs and any efforts to reduce its impact advertently helps the coral reefs. An estimated “90% of coral reefs will be threatened by 2030” and “100% of reefs will be threatened by 2050” according to the Coral Reef Alliance.
Yuri encourages people to care about coral reefs because they “make up a very large part of our ecosystem, they pump out oxygen and provide shelter for fish…but even though they are the undersea equivalent of rainforests they get less public attention [so] it is easy for them to get neglected.” In engaging in cycling, an eco-friendly alternative, Yuri reveals his commitment to preserving the coral reefs and he would like to elevate his support by raising money and awareness for the Coral Reef Alliance. Please consider supporting Yuri along the way for the sake of his beloved Coral Reefs.