City rowers in at the deep end with Channel crossing

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MEMBERS of Milton Keynes Rowing Club and staff from the Mayor’s charity, the MK Dons Sports & Education Trust, have joined together for the gruelling challenge of rowing across the English Channel.

Last weekend was their first taste of coastal rowing at Hayling Island on the south coast as their training got off to a good start in cold and windy conditions.

Catriona Morris, Mayor of MK, who went to Hayling Island to support the rowers on Saturday, saw first hand the kind of weather conditions the rowers were faced with, and was impressed by the hard work they have all been doing in preparation for the Channel row in two months.

She came up with the idea as a fund raiser for her charity after meeting with the director of Langstone Rowing, and hearing of other crews who had raised money this way, including John Bishop, the comedian who took to the water for Comic Relief.

MK Rowing Club are providing experienced rowers who will be helping to train those from MK Dons SET who have never rowed before. They will also be raising money for their club in order to buy new equipment to accommodate the huge influx of people inspired by the sport at London 2012.

Two crews will be attempting the big crossing at the end of April, and one crew will aim to complete the trip in record time for a mixed sex crew.

Four members of the crew going for the record are from the Leighton Buzzard area, Paula and Rob Heywood, plus Lindy Gray and Haemish Graham.

Tim Grossey, captain of MK Rowing Club – who will be rowing the channel himself – was very complimentary of those rowers who have embraced the challenge and daily endurance training they have to do in preparation for it.

He hopes that local businesses will come forward to support both causes by sponsoring them. Details of how to do so can be found on the club’s own website.