In September 2010 I visited the Gift of Sight Charity at Southampton General Hospital and met Professor Andrew Lotery who established the research centre in 2004 with the aim of funding world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness.
The Scooter Challenge was born!
As a teacher and a pub licensee I have led some amazing fund raisers for a variety of charities. Thirty Four years ago I just failed in my attempt to break the World Crawling Record and since then, along with others I have completed The London Marathon three times, The New York Marathon twice, The Paris Marathon twice, The Dublin Marathon and numerous Half Marathons and 10k's.
Other fund raising ideas have included Twenty Four Sports in 24 Hours, Maggot Racing, Snail Racing, Charity Cricket, Football and Rugby Matches and many many more.
I think, however, our next activity for the Southampton General Hospital based charity 'The Gift of Sight' is probably the most challenging to date.
I did not complete a run for charity in 2010 due to an injury to my right knee, so in an effort to find a sporting activity where one leg could remain comparatively still, I decided some form of journey on a child's style push scooter would be the answer, and where else to ride the scooter but from Lands' End to John O'Groats.
To my knowledge this is the first time this journey has been completed by scooter and we are starting the expedition in Lands'End on Sunday 27th Feb 2011, and will reach our destination John O'Groats on Saturday 5th March 2011.
The expedition will be a relay comprising of at least two teams of six, each team member will be required to 'scoot' for 3 x 4 mile 30 minute sessions, in a nine hour period before resting. In total we envisage each team member to complete stages totalling about 85 miles. The total distance for the chosen route is 1017 miles, if we don't get lost! We will be taking two minibus support vehicles and when not 'scooting' team members will share driving duties where possible. We will be staying in Cornwall on Sunday 27th Feb 2011, and starting from Lands' End at 8am Monday morning; we will scoot 24 hours a day. Our planned completion time will be noon on Saturday 5th March. We have hired 2 Motor Homes from Solent Motor Homes Ltd, who kindly hired them to us at a 'special' rate for the participants to sleep in on their break time. We are staying in Hayle on Sunday 27th Feb, setting off early on Monday 28th Feb. The Norseman Hotel, Wick is our final resting place next Saturday.