Rowers step up to the challenge for charity

PUBLISHED: 12:58 07 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:22 07 February 2014

Will Hollyer completed 27,000 miles to raise money for his sister Alys

Will Hollyer completed 27,000 miles to raise money for his sister Alys

Archant

Last week, members of the Herts Sports Partnership Team, based at the University of Hertfordshire, completed a 100 mile (161km) indoor rowing challenge and raised just over £1,500 for two close relatives of team members, Will Hollyer and Jane Shewring, to enjoy a special occasion.

University of Hertfordshire vice chancellor Prof. Quintin McKellar who rowed almost 8,000 metresUniversity of Hertfordshire vice chancellor Prof. Quintin McKellar who rowed almost 8,000 metres

Last week, members of the Herts Sports Partnership Team, based at the University of Hertfordshire, completed a 100 mile (161km) indoor rowing challenge and raised just over £1,500 for two close relatives of team members, Will Hollyer and Jane Shewring, to enjoy a special occasion.

Alys Hollyer (age 17) and Katie Thorburn (age 16) are both suffering with a rare form of bone cancer, and they are fighting their personal battles with this debilitating condition.

Originally the team set out to complete 100km, but with the fantastic support of staff and students of the university, they eventually managed to complete 100 miles (161km) in just under nine hours.

Dawn had barely broken, when, leading the way, the University’s vice chancellor Prof. Quintin McKellar took his seat on the ergometer, to record a very impressive 7,933 metres during his 30-minute stint.

Emma Kay Radzikowski gets into the spirit of thingsEmma Kay Radzikowski gets into the spirit of things

In doing so, the former Commonwealth Games rower not only set the standard for those waiting in the wings but his rallying call, captured on video, and spread across the university community, resulted in numerous offers of support leading to huge inspiration and much perspiration

The University’s director of sport, Nick Brooking, was another to take his place on the hotseat, completing 2,000 metres in just over eight minutes. Passing students, Gimi Okunfulure, Nilsen Veerupen, Patience Abladey and Lee Bailey were others who willingly accepted the challenge to help the HSP team reach their ambitious target.

Biggest contributor of the day was Alys’ brother, Will, who completed 27,000 metres, closely followed by the event organiser John O’Callaghan who weighed in with 25,000 metres.

“This was a fantastic team effort of which I am hugely proud” said O’Callaghan, pictured bottom right.

“That the vice chancellor of the University took the time and trouble to kick off the event at 7am, and to give us his full support for this worthy cause, sent out a very positive message.

“Moreover, the way in which both staff and students embraced the event and were so generous in the way they gave of their time and money, was a great credit to them and our university in general.

“Surpassing what looked like an ambitious target was a great achievement, and the way in which the event brought out the best in so many people, in so many different ways, was truly heart-warming.

“Collectively we managed to raise funds to ensure that two beautiful and very brave young ladies can enjoy some much needed respite from their massive respective challenges.

“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all those who supported the event.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support received not only from within the university, but from the wider sporting community across Hertfordshire and beyond.”


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