Nepali biker declined visa

After raising over $2400 for one of Nepal's top downhill mountain bike riders to come to Queenstown, fundraisers last week were left disappointed.

Amy Freedman-Davies, of Canada, and Jarrah Healy, of Tasmania, had been raising funds since last year to fund a trip to Queenstown for Raj Kumar (20) so he could help build the sport in his home country.

On Thursday the two keen mountain bikers discovered Kumar's visa application had been declined and he will not be coming.

''We're all pretty gutted.''

Miss Freedman-Davies said all donations would be returned, unless requested otherwise, in which case the money would go towards covering the costs of the prepaid flights.

The two Queenstowners met Kumar, a guide, when they they visited Nepal in search of mountain bike trails.

Kumar has ridden borrowed bikes since he was 9 and has been the Nepali downhill national champion for the past two years.

Miss Freedman-Davies had already paid for the flights and is still unsure why her friend's visa had been declined.

''This kid is so cool. He deserves to see more aspects in the biking world,'' Miss Freedman-Davies said. Generosity for the cause came from all around Queenstown.

Atlas Bar and Restaurant contributed $500 and a further $500 worth in food, while the Queenstown Bike Taxis company contributed $500 in cash to the cause, as well as $500 worth of taxi chits for Mr Kumar's arrival, and Skyline donated a half-season pass worth $499 for him to use the gondola to the Queenstown Bike Park trails for the five weeks.


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