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Monday, 25 January 2016

A serial fundraiser from Wallington has set yet another challenge to raise money and awareness for two charities by rowing the length of the Thames.

42 year old Matthew Wood will row a total distance of 404,000 metres indoors with three other teammates, on World Diabetes Day, on November the 14th, for his #RowtheRiver challenge.

He told us, “I’m a bit of a serial fundraiser and I don’t know if it’s a clinical condition but every two years I get the urge to do something big,” he said.

His achievements include three London marathons all in costume; cycling the whole of the Kathmandu valley in eight days for pancreatic cancer in 2010 and recently dressing as a Morph for a month to raise awareness for Junior Diabetes.

In 2013 Matthew completed two ultramarathons for the Junior Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

This year he has organised the row to raise money for these two charities, which are close to his heart.

His nephew, 16-year-old Joseph Bishop, a pupil at Halliford School in Shepperton, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008 so JDRF is an important charity to Matthew.

“A friend of mine, Gavin Griffiths, a 23-year-old type 1 diabetic, who is now an ultramarathon runner was once told that he couldn’t play football because of his condition,” he said.

“He, along with other ambassadors of T1D, live their lives to the fullest and strive to encourage others to do so also.

“Sir Steve Redgrave is the figurehead of sport from a type 1 perspective and is living proof that nothing is impossible.”

Matthew has contacted the five-time Olympic champion rower to gain recognition for this event.

Half of the proceeds from the day will go to The Royal Marsden, which cared for his father-in-law, Ray Morgan, who died from renal cancer in 2006.

“The whole aim is about raising awareness and inspiring others,” said Matthew.

“My biggest concern was getting a team together so finding Malcolm, from TFW London, at this early stage was a godsend.”

Matthew’s first recruit is 42-year-old Malcolm Taylor.

The fitness instructor, who regularly raises funds for various charities, said: “This is going to be a new one for me and it should be fun!”

Malcolm has never attempted a rowing challenge before but said he was already knuckling down with his training regime.

He added: “With something like this it’s more about the reps and the hours so you can get that speed up and get your muscles working the way they should be.”

The next step is to secure two further members to complete the team as soon as possible.

Another key issue is to find a venue to host the event and Matthew has his eyes on a couple of school halls in Wallington and said he would be approaching Stanley Park High School and Wallington County Grammar School.

If the four-strong team are successful they will also get a Guinness World Record as completing a row of 100,000m is a world ranking event.

Keep up with their progress on Twitter @GiFireE and on Facebook at #RowtheRiver.

To make a donation, click here

To make a donation to The Royal Marsden, click here
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 10:42 am  

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