Leeds Beckett academics take on gruelling charity challenge
Andy Daly-Smith, Andrew Manley, Thomas Quarmby, Julian North and Antonis Stravopoulos-Kalinoglou will be taking on the Rat Race Coast to Coast challenge which starts in Nairn and incorporates a series of exhausting cycling, running and kayaking stages.
Andy Daly-Smith, said: “We are taking on the crazy challenge of traversing 105 miles across Scotland from coast to coast by foot, bike and kayak and would be very grateful if people could support us by sponsoring our chosen charity.
“All five of us are dads or expectant parents and we appreciate everything that Bliss do for parents and their children in times of need.
“Bliss is an organisation that supports premature and sick babies and their families. Bliss and the support that they provide for the excellent neo-natal units, nurses and doctors have helped two of our children when they were born prematurely.
“Without the dedication of the charity to improve the care for premature babies, we may not have been so fortunate to now have two fantastic children. We have taken on this challenge as a way to give back and try and raise some money to support families who may need similar support in the future.”
The Rat Race Coast to Coast challenge takes in forest and mountain trails, minor roads and loch-side riding as well as kayaking on Loch Ness and Loch Leven. Participants need to be prepared physically and mentally with an element of self-sufficiency in remote locations.
The quintet has been supported in their preparations by 12 MSc Sport and Exercise Science students from Leeds Beckett who were selected after a competitive pitching process. The students have provided support around biomechanics, nutrition, training plans and technical advice on equipment gaining a useful insight into the logistics of major events in the process.
Students worked collaboratively in multidisciplinary teams to identify the needs of the team before pitching their proposed sport science support programmes as a part of one of their formal assessments on the course.
Bliss is the UK charity for premature and sick babies. It offers guidance and information at a critical time in families' lives, supports ground-breaking research and campaigns for babies to receive the best possible level of care regardless of when and where they are born.
Caroline Lee-Davey, Chief Executive of Bliss, said: “We are so grateful to Andy, Andrew, Thomas, Julian and Antonis for taking on the Rat Race challenge to raise money for Bliss.
“Their support is invaluable in helping us to achieve our ambition to reach every single baby born needing neonatal care in the UK and their family, and to ensure that every baby benefits from our work, no matter how long they live or how long they spend on a neonatal unit.
“We know the team is well-prepared from all the support they’ve received from Leeds Beckett students, and wish them the very best of luck with their epic challenge!”
The group’s JustGiving page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/beckettboys?utm_id=27