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In July 2008 two employees of East Midlands Trains; Dave Stannard and Adam Plant will set sail on a 300 mile trip from London to Sheffield to raise money for the premature baby charity BLISS. The pair will start their epic journey at Chiswick Road Bridge in London, the finish of the Oxford/Cambridge Boat Race, travelling via the Thames, Grand Union Canal, River Trent, Nene, the Wash and then onto Sheffield.
Dave’s usual role for the company is as an operations trainer whilst Adam works as a train manager. So although neither of them have any experience with a paddle, they are rising to the challenge to raise money for the BLISS premature baby charity. Dave is very aware of the fantastic support they provide, as his own son Corey was born prematurely at just 28 weeks in November 2003, weighing just 2lb 2ozs.
Dave said: “I have previously completed various challenges for charity including cycling from London to Sheffield last year. But this challenge is the most extreme yet. Paddling some 30 miles a day over sea and canal and even crossing the Wash is something that many have told me is a bit mad. That may be so, but I wanted to do something different and to raise as much money as possible for BLISS. Me and my wife Cath can never thank them and Jessops Hospital in Sheffield enough for the care they gave to Corey and the advice and support for me and Cath. This challenge is nothing compared to what Corey overcame with their help.
“I have been training hard for the event. Training has included trips to sea at Flamborough, time on the river Don and even one memorable session out at sea on the Med during a holiday to Ibiza last summer. You’ve no idea how hard it was to locate a canoe in San Antonio and how scared I was to find myself alone on a Spanish sea in very choppy conditions! I am now a three star canoeist which is basically intermediate and I’m confident that by July we’ll both be ready to meet the challenge.”
Dave and Adam have already been pledged over £1,000 in sponsorship by colleagues and friends and East Midlands Trains are making a donation and paying for a radio training course (for use whilst at sea). Tim Shoveller, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains said “We’re all very proud of the supreme effort that Dave and Adam are making for this very worthy cause. I can’t even imagine walking this far, let alone making the journey by canoe.
“We all have our fingers crossed for them. We’re even planning to give their canoe its very own ‘headcode’ which is the means by which the rail industry tracks live train services. This way all our staff will be able to check Dave and Adam’s progress on our intranet day by day.”
If you would like to find out more about the Krazy Kayakers, read their blog or even make a donation by visiting www.krazykayaks.blogspot.com.