Celebrity biking pals take on paddle board challenge for charity

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A group of friends that includes bike-mad celebrities Charley Boorman, Iwan Thomas and Damon Hill are embarking on a 30-mile endurance paddle in support of the Movember charity.

Starting on May 17, the 11-strong group will paddle-board the length of the Basingstoke Canal to help raise money as well as awareness of mental health and the importance of social connection in general.

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Others in the group include James Haskell (former rugby player), Chloe Madeley (presenter), Matthew Wright (journalist), D*Face (artist), Amy Voce (radio presenter), Nick and Giles English (Bremont Watches founders), expedition organiser, biker and charity campaigner Ben Bowers plus paddle guide Paul Hyman.

They’re all coming together to demonstrate that no matter the situation you find yourself in, looking to friends for support and sharing experiences is a good way to get through tough times. The initiative came from good friends and testicular cancer survivors, Bowers and Boorman.

"Having had a pretty tough year as everyone has in 2020, I was in need of doing something positive not only for myself but for other men," said Bowers.

"I’ve had worse years through my cancer fight and I was able to draw upon the resilience built through those experiences to stay mentally well in lockdown. I’m so pleased that with Charley’s help we’ve pulled together this team of paddlers and hope we can inspire others to take positive action regarding wellbeing."

"I first met Ben a number of years ago," added Boorman. "We both had gone through a scare with testicular cancer. When Ben asked me to get involved in the expedition to highlight men’s health and mental health I jumped at the chance. All my life and all our lives we are faced with challenges big and small. It’s how we get through them and what we do that really counts."

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.