A Sutton Coldfield company is splashing out to help a local fitness expert raise £250K for an environmental charity – by rowing 3000 miles across the Atlantic.
Personal trainer Sam Coxon, who coaches at Streetly’s Freedom Bootcamp and has represented Great Britain in triathlon, is one of a five-man crew aiming to take on the world’s toughest row to support The Plastic Soup Foundation, whose mission is to clean up the oceans.
Now Sutton-based financial planners and retirement specialists Henwood Court have pitched in to sponsor the intrepid team – called the Ocean5 – who begin their expedition in December.
Henwood Court MD Nick Platt explained that what he had seen while on holiday last year had persuaded him to sponsor the team’s kit, to the tune of £3000.
“We went island hopping around Borneo last year and the ocean was full of floating plastic bottles,” he said. “This is when it really hit home to me how bad this problem has become. When I heard what the guys planned to do we jumped at the chance to support them.”
“Helping the Plastic Soup Foundation by supporting this mission is a small way Henwood Court can give back and highlight this problem, so we can all do something – however small – about it before the problem becomes irreversible.”
Sam said: “Support like this from Henwood Court is brilliant – we are very grateful. We are going to be isolated, cold, hot, wet, sore, tired and numb at times. We can only deal with this when it hits us. The main thing is to stick together as a team, work with each other and keep the spirit high every day!”
Sam will be joined on the row by veteran adventurer Kevin Gaskell, his son Matt, Will Hollingshead and Chris Hodgson. Three members of the five-man crew have made their living as crew on yachts, and have seen first-hand the devastation that plastics cause to the oceans.
The Ocean5 will begin their row in early December, joining 25 other teams in the 2019 Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge. They will be rowing continuously for 24 hours each day, in a seven metre-long boat, facing sleep deprivation, isolation and exhaustion.
Their gruelling training schedule, co-ordinated by Kevin, has so far seen the team row 3000 miles, cycle 6,900km and lift more than a million kilogrammes. The veteran has been on 15 expeditions, including walking to the north and south pole and scaling some of the world’s highest mountains.
“More people have travelled into space than travelled the 3300 miles across the Atlantic Ocean,” Kevin said, “so success on this row requires a focused and dedicated training programme to cover everything from physical fitness, mental focus and all of the seafaring skills necessary to ensure as far as we can a safe crossing.”
“We have created lots of ways in which people or businesses can support us and reach our fundraising target – please check out our website at www.theocean5.com”