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Ed Raymont - BSc (Hons) Sports Studies, 2014

Ed Raymont - BSc (Hons) Sports Studies, 2014

Ed Raymont - BSc (Hons) Sports Studies, 2014

Ed Raymont, who graduated from Leeds Beckett in 2014, is part of a team due to set sail this December, taking on the challenge of a 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic.

Ed studied BSc (Hons) in Sports Studies at Leeds Beckett, topping up a foundation degree from another university.

Ed said: “I chose Leeds Beckett University and the Carnegie School of Sport because of its good reputation for sports courses. The facilities and level of teaching at Leeds Beckett far exceeded where I’d studied before.”

After graduating, Ed applied for the Royal Marine Commandos (RMC). He credits his time at Leeds Beckett for helping him gain the skills he needed.

Ed said: “The sports science background helped me, to plan and prepare my training to pass the entry requirements into the RMC, which were especially gruelling. The training is thirty-two weeks of what is coined the ‘hardest and longest basic infantry training in the world’”.

“My current role as a vehicle mechanic isn’t specifically related to the course I studied, but the higher learning approach to learning new skills and information, which I got from my degree, was definitely beneficial when I was training to specialise in the new role.”

Ed enjoys the challenges from his role in the RMC, which spurred him on to take further challenges in his life such as the 2020 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challange. Ed alongside three others will be embarking on a venture of rowing unsupported across the Atlantic from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua.

He will be attempting the challenge alongside his partner Victoria Mico Egea, Brittany Staniforth - both graduates of the University of Leeds, and Brittany's father Roger Staniforth.

The team are named ‘Generation Gap’, named after the 31-year age gap between the youngest and oldest members. Each member of the team have chosen a charity that is close to their hearts. Ed chose the Royal Marines Charity because of the diverse support they offer to Royal Marine Family.

When asked what attracted Ed to this challenge, he said: “Once upon a time just becoming a Royal Marine Commando seemed a completely farfetched idea.  A challenge out of reach to me, but it is something that I have achieved. “The idea of rowing twelve hours a day for 50 days holds a similar fiction for me, and I love overcoming challenges like that.”

Generation Gap sets off in December 2020 and when asked about what the race will entail, Ed responds; “We are a team of four carrying all our food, spares, and equipment.  We are hoping to complete the race in 42 days, but it could take up to 55.

“We have had to raise ourselves over £100,000 to fund the challenge, and have an additional target of raising a good sum of money which will all go directly to four amazing charities.”

An average day will be two hours of rowing, two hours off and resting, and then repeat! We will always have two people rowing, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. There are six rest periods in total in the day, three in which we will attempt to maximise sleep. In the other three, we will be occupied with eating, cleaning, and the daily jobs on board, such as wiping down the solar panels or checking navigation and bearings for the day.”

The team have had to endure many hours of training in order to qualify for the challenge which included a set amount of rowing hours. Now they are focused on building their mental and physical resilience.

Ed explains: “Our training in the run-up to the challenge is very intense. We have now completed and exceeded all our qualifying on-the-water rowing hours to allow us to be able to take part in the challenge. We will now focus on building resilient and efficient bodies with a combination of mobility, strength, and endurance-type activity, training six days a week.

“This type of event requires a lot of mental resilience. The times will get tough, and there will be bad days where the end will seem impossible. Being able to get up for that 2am rowing shift when the rain is going sideways, and the waves are hitting tall against the boat will take some doing.”

Before setting off on his new challenge, Ed looked back on where he gets satisfaction in his current role, and offered advice to our current students: “I love fixing what’s broken. The satisfaction of leaving the workplace with tangible evidence that your efforts have made some difference, however small, is what keeps me going and feeling relevant.

“I would say to today’s students to make the most of your time at university. Growing up and gaining responsibilities happens fast, and you will never be as free to explore, learn, and find out what you love to do as you will in your time at university.”