The Blue Zinc Race the Thames challenge – 346km in four days – please support us!
3 February 2023

On 27 January, eight “athletes” within our office embarked on a charity adventure with London Youth Rowing, to Race the Thames in eight days – 346km in total. We crossed the line unbelievably four days early on the night of 30 January, much to the relief of several team-mates, and were the seventh team to hit the target out of 100 teams, not bad for an eclectic bunch from Norn Iron!

We ran, cycled (indoor & outdoor), walked, dog-walked, “children-walked” (mixed engagement!), rowed, swam, weight-lifted, circuit trained (they get converted), mini-rugby trained, Gaelic football trained, and golfed (treacherous links conditions!). A special shout out to Connor McCullough, who cycled 443k (!), and Ellen Preston, who ran ran/walked more than 100km!

Our efforts were not without incident. We had shin splints, bike crashes, muscle and joint injuries, and consistent fatigue. However, we dug in, and smashed our target. Now we need your support to outdo our fundraising target. We are raising money for London Youth Rowing, who support disadvantaged children from struggling and diverse backgrounds, and give them a chance in life.

If you can, any donation would be so greatly appreciated. Please donate here.

Our dream team was:

  • Blue Zinc’s Ellen Preston, Niall McKeever, Connor McCullough, Steven Ballentine, James Cleary, Conor Ross, Lewis Bodel & Paul Arnold. With Juliet Foster and Kyle Lunn on the bench, supporting magnificently, and itching to go!
  • Special thanks to Dan Barber, Director of Brand Strategy at ClearCourse and all at London Youth Rowing; including Andy T (a Triple Olympic Rowing Gold Medallist!), Rebecca H & Matilda B – brilliant admin and a much needed inspiration!

London Youth Rowing (LYR) was founded by Jim Downing in 2004 in the hope that young people across London would have access to an otherwise traditionally niche sport and in turn help the rowing community become a more diverse, more inclusive environment.

By getting involved young people can improve their physical, social and mental wellbeing and develop crucial life skills, which are necessary for success in the classroom and the workplace. Each £1 of the money we raise, will deliver a social benefit of £40, and a young person will benefit. That young person will be coached, listened to, noticed, mentored and given skills and tools to build confidence and esteem.

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