I am embarking on a fundraising campaign in Spring 2012 to raise money for the Mark Pollock Trust and Belfast Lough Sailability.
This follows on from a campaign which I did in 2008 for Belfast Lough Sailability to raise money to purchase a new boat for handicapped sailors, enabling them to reach their goal of getting to the Paralmypic Games. We exceeded our goal and raised £18,500 enough to purchase a specialised boat, known as a Skud, which is an 18 foot, two person Paralmypic class boat. The campaign in 2008 involved me sailing solo across the Irish Sea in my Laser Radial sailing dinghy.
The campaign in Spring 2012 involves sailing from Belfast Lough to Scotland in the actual Belfast Lough Sailability Skud, crewed by Mark Pollock and myself. This will be Mark's biggest personal challenge since his tragic accident last year.
This time the challenge is to raise money for not only Belfast Lough Sailability to enable them to continue their magnificent training for disabled athletes and getting both kids and adults with disabilities to experience sailing, but also to support the Mark Pollock Trust.
Mark is a good friend, and for over a decade he has been known as an inspiration, an adventure athlete competing in the world’s harshest environments despite being completely blind from the age of 22. On the 2nd of July 2010, Mark fell from a second story window. In the fall Mark suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury which has left him completely paralysed from the waist down. The Mark Pollock Trust hopes to raise significant funds to assist with the capital and ongoing costs specifically associated with his spinal injury - including a team of care and rehabilitation specialists, physiotherapy equipment, visits to specialised spinal injury recovery centres and wheelchairs. This campaign will help Mark to break through the barriers that paralysis and blindness have placed around him.
Belfast lough Sailability
Belfast Lough Sailability is a non-profit organisation run entirely by a team of dedicated volunteers who assist in the co-ordination of activities as well as enabling prospective disabled sailors to get afloat.
Their aim is to train, educate and encourage more people with disabilities onto the water.
The group has grown rapidly over the last two years and is exceptional in that it provides an activity not only for the disabled individual but for the whole family unit. They offer people who think they can’t even get on a boat, let alone sail it, the chance to have a go.
Belfast Lough Sailability Campaign - June 2008
In June 2008 I sailed solo across the Irish Sea in my Laser Radial Dinghy for Belfast Lough Sailability to raise money to purchase a new boat for handicapped sailors, enabling them to aim for their goal of getting Northern Irish sailors to the Paralympic Games. We exceeded our goal and raised £18,500 enabling them to purchase a specialised boat, known as a Skud, which is an 18 foot, two person Paralympic class boat. I sailed 27 miles, from Portpatrick, Scotland to Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, in windy and wavy conditions in just under four hours. Click to enlarge.
Skud Press Launch in October 2010
In October 2010 the Press Launch, held in Abercorn Basin marked the arrival of the Skud into Northern Ireland. It was officially named 'Willpower' after my great friend Will Doggart. Click to enlarge.
Charity Boxing Challenge - 27th October, 2011
Two months of intense training led up to 'Fight Night' at the Europa Hotel on Thursday 27th October 2011, infront of 600 spectators. My opponent was my lovely friend Jenny Curran, we completed three one minute rounds and I won! Luckily she did forgive me for the bloody nose I gave her! Mark Pollock was even there to spur me on at the ringside. All the money I raised to complete this challenge went towards the overall campaign.
Click to enlarge.
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