An unlikely but ‘oarsome’ 8 strong team have got together all in the name of charity – namely this one!
The Leeds United Channel Row Team have been joined by the latest team members, Leeds United Managing Director David Haigh and coxswain, Francesca MacDuff-Varley to row the Channel (from Dunkirk to Ramsgate) on the June 8 2014, in a 46 mile challenge which will take around 6 hours.
The aim will be to raise £20k to support the Myfanwy Townsend Melanoma Research Fund, in memory of former Leeds United fitness coach, Bruce Craven who died in 2005 from melanoma.
To kick off their tough training schedule and provide a taste of things to come (some have never rowed before) the team hit the water at the weekend to find out exactly what they’ve let themselves in for! Mike Gilbert, who coached the session, prepared celebrities John Bishop, Davina McCall, Denise Lewis and Freddie Flintoff for their attempt to cross the Channel earlier this year for Sport Relief.
Says Mike, “We will be using ‘Deborah’, the same boat as used by the Sport Relief team, with all its battle scars, and I will be proffering the same advice, which is that this is not a challenge that should be undertaken lightly.
“All crew will be risking their lives and will need to prepare fully; they will need to review their diets and lifestyle, commit to a strict training routine and remain focused throughout”.
Fearless Francesca will have her hands full as coxswain of the boat, keeping the momentum up and the direction of the boat in check. She commented: “After today, I’m sure that I won’t have any problems keeping 7 fit men on the straight and narrow; but I am praying that I find my sea legs quickly!”
Francesca will be in charge of the crew, made up of:
- Campbell Watt – Sports Masseur at Leeds United, previous Channel Crossing 2006 with Chris Short
- David Haigh – Managing Director at Leeds United
- Chris Short (Team Captain) – 1st Team Fitness Conditioner at Bolton Wanderers, Ex Stoke City, Sheffield United Player, Previous Channel Crossing 2006 with Campbell Watt.
- Harvey Sharman – Head of Medical Dept and Head Physio at Leeds United
- Craig Short – Head Coach Blackburn Rovers
- Jamie Ashdown – Leeds United First Team Goalkeeper
- Dave Carberry – Life Long Leeds United supporter
- …and acting as sub, Michelle Baker – Representing the charity!