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Veterans attempt world-first kayak journey
A group of veterans with life-changing injuries are set to embark on an epic adventure, and become the first adaptive team in the world to kayak from Land’s End to John O’Groats …
The Kayak 4 Heroes team will take on the 1,400-mile challenge, beginning in mid-June, with the aim of raising £100,000 for the Armed Forces Para-Snowsport Team (AFPST). The charity provides snowboarding and skiing opportunities for Armed Forces personnel with physical and/or psychological conditions, to help with their physical and emotional recovery. The Kayak 4 Heroes team met when they were supported by AFPST, and decided to undertake a challenge to give something back to the charity that has transformed their lives.
Expedition leader Darren Edwards took up kayaking after a climbing injury left him paralysed from the chest down. He says: ‘We want to raise as much money as possible to enable other veterans to benefit from the incredible support we have all received from the charity, which has certainly helped us with our recovery processes. We also want to show that you can do anything you put your mind to.
‘Training has been a struggle given Covid regulations, and we haven’t been able to train together as often as we’d like, but we are all very solutions-focused, so we gave a lot of thought to how to overcome the training challenges.’
Darren will be joined in the challenge by Luke Wigman, Jonny Huntington, Carl Simmons and Ben Gallagher.
Charity trustee Elizabeth Winfield comments: ‘We are incredibly grateful to the Kayak 4 Heroes team for undertaking this immense task in order to fundraise for us. Not only are they completing an incredible journey, they’re also challenging perceptions, pushing boundaries and demonstrating what it is possible to achieve when we come together.
‘There is a real synergy between the open water and winter environment that we use to enable our veterans to become involved in reconnecting with nature, as well as the competitive element that runs through both the Kayak 4 Heroes adventure and the opportunities we provide on snow.
‘As a charity, we demonstrate the “inspiring power of a life that dares to break boundaries”, and this team is a phenomenal example of that ethos in action.’
Supporters will also be able to watch the team’s progress through a series of videos being produced by Wanderlust Action Films during training and the challenge itself. Click here to view the challenge trailer.
A Virtual Kayak 4 Heroes Challenge has also been set up for groups who are collectively walking, running and cycling 1,400km between them to raise additional funds for the charity.
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