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Powering down the Thames

UK Power Networks employees from Maidstone have taken to the water in aid of vulnerable children by rowing the River Thames for the Ahoy Centre charity.

From Press releases - 25 July 2018 12:00 AM

Ahoy rowing - Maidstone team.jpg

Six intrepid, and very inexperienced, rowers from Maidstone, have spent the past months, weeks and in some cases, only days, training and trying to find their sea legs to take the Ahoy Meridian Pull Row Challenge this week.

The staff who help keep the lights on in London, the East and the South East have dedicated their free time to getting to grips with fitness regimes and the challenge of synchronised rowing. It has required great coordination to avoid falling in the water or ‘catching a crab’ –- when an oar hits the water at the wrong angle and the recoil is felt in the rower’s chest.

In total 48 employees from UK Power Networks have come together from bases across Maidstone, Lewes, Bury St Edmunds, London and more. Eight UK Power Networks teams of six members each, have raised over £10,000 in donations so far. Money raised will enable the Ahoy Centre to deliver life-changing training, courses and programmes to both vulnerable/disadvantaged young people and disabled people who need help and to be given an opportunity.

Jack Brooks, one of the team captains from Maidstone, said: “The Rowing Stones team from SPN Projects took part in the AHOY Meridian Challenge this week. We smashed our fundraising target of £2000, raising in excess of £3000; largely down to the generosity of family, friends and work colleagues. The training session was awesome and definitely made us ache by the end of two hours on the water. The day of the race started off with some nerves and a lot of excitement! The route was amazing as we went past landmarks such as Big Ben, HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge, but we didn’t have time for sightseeing! The last mile felt like it wouldn’t end but we arrived into the AHOY centre to be greeted by our family and friends who came to cheer us on. We completed the 8.5 mile row in 1 hour and 10 minutes and enjoyed every second of it!”

UK Power Networks teams who took part in the in the Meridian Pull Row Challenge on 17 and 24 July are: The Rowing Stones, The Hairy Ginger Rowers, The Big Guns, Oar We There Yet?, Buoy, Oh Buoy, Captain Red Beard & His Merry Men, RowSILENT and ProcOar.

Donations can be made by visiting BT My Donate and then searching by team name. Cast off is by Chelsea Bridge and rowers are estimated to take 60-75minutes to complete the course.